Youth sports are an essential part of society.
Sports participation helps support physical and mental health for kids, but also helps build stronger communities by providing volunteer opportunities for adults. That’s why supporting organizations and charities can be important for individuals, nonprofits, and businesses.
Have you considered providing resources to regional or national youth sports programs? Learn more in this post about some worthwhile youth sports charities to consider supporting.
1. Good Sports
Since 2003, Good Sports has provided over $99 million in new youth sports equipment to programs in need. Good Sports has worked with companies like Nike, UnderArmour, and Gatorade to support over 10 million athletes across all 50 states in the US.
Good Sports works with organizations that provide youth sports opportunities for kids ages 3-18 in high-need communities.
Good Sports aims to increase youth sports participation, enhance the youth sports experience, and create new opportunities for physical activity for youth.
👉 To apply as a youth sports organization, go here: Apply for Sports Equipment Donation
👉 To get involved with Good Sports, go here: Get Involved
2. Girls On The Run
Girls on the Run inspires girls of all abilities to recognize their strengths while building a sense of connection in a team setting.
Volunteers coordinate a team of girls that completes a training program that includes physical activity and life skills. At the end of the program, the team competes in a 5k run together that helps to build self-confidence through a sense of accomplishment.
Over 2 million girls have participated in Girls on the Run since it was founded in 1996.
👉 To find a team near you, go here: Connect with Girls on the Run Locally
👉 To contribute to Girls on the Run, go here: Support Girls on the Run
3. Challenged Athletes
Challenged Athletes Foundation’s (CAF) mission is to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics.
Challenged Athletes support athletes through equipment grant programs, camps & clinics, and mentorship. Global CAF Partners include Nike, Toyota, and Accenture.
Since 1994 CAF has issued over 44,000 equipment grants and raised over $150 million for athletes in 70+ countries.
👉 To apply for support, go here: Get Support from Challenged Athletes
👉 To donate or get involved, go here: Get Involved with Challenged Athletes
4. LA84 Foundation
The LA84 Foundation believes in the positive role youth sports plays in child development. LA84 was created with a portion of the surplus from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and supports hundreds of nonprofit sports programs in Southern California each year.
The LA84 Foundation offers many programs that support youth sports, including youth sports grants in underserved communities, events, including the LA84 Youth Sports Summit, and coaching clinics for volunteers at all levels.
Since its founding, the LA84 Foundation has impacted over 3.9 million athletes and over 3,300 sports organizations.
👉 To learn more about grant opportunities and apply, go here: LA84 Foundation Grants
5. Athletes for Hope
Athletes for Hope (AFH) was founded in 2006 by athletes including Muhammad Ali, Warrick Dunn, Mia Hamm, and Jackie Joyner-Kersey.
Athletes for Hope works with individual athletes to support causes they care about and educate athletes on their potential to make a difference.
AFH supports many initiatives each year, including The Mental Health Champions Club, an initiative established in 2021 to reduce mental health stigma in and out of sports.
👉 To donate, go here: Donate to Athletes for Hope
6. Ball to All
Ball to All is a charity that distributes soccer balls to underprivileged children worldwide. Since founding in 2012, Ball to All has donated 20,000+ soccer balls.
👉 To give a ball, go here: Give a Ball
7. The Fresh Air Fund
The Fresh Air Fund was founded in 1877 and has provided summer camps and outdoor activities to over 1.8 million children from New York City. Children in the program can also participate in year-round leadership and educational programs.
👉 To donate, go to: Donate to The Fresh Air Fund
8. Play It Forward
Play it Forward helps to support educational, nutrition, and sports opportunities for children in Zambia. Children in the program also get the chance to play football each week and are trained by coaches in the program.
👉 To learn about volunteer opportunities, go to: Play it Forward Volunteer Opportunities
👉 To help fundraise, go to: Play it Forward Fundraising Opportunities
PeacePlayers offers basketball programs and leadership development for kids living in underserved communities. PeacePlayers was founded in 2000 and has provided basketball programs for children in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North America.
👉 To donate, go to: Donate to Peace Players
10. Every Kid Sports
Affordability is one of the biggest issues in youth sports.
Founded in 2009, Every Kid Sports provides grants that cover registration fees for young athletes ages 4-18. Corporate sponsors and individuals make contributions each year to help fund Every Kid Sports Passes.
Parents can apply for an Every Kid Sports Pass and are approved within 5-7 days. After approval, parents receive a digital card to pay for registration fees at their youth sports organization.
In 2022, Every Kid Sports covered the registration costs for over 20,000 kids. Some Every Kid Sports partners include Under Armour, DICK’s Sporting Goods, Little League, and the Arthur M. Blank Foundation.
Applications for athletes open at 10 AM PST every day and fill up quickly, so make sure you are ready to apply at 10 AM PST to get your application in.
👉 To apply for your athlete, go to: Apply for Every Kid Sports Pass
👉 To get involved or make a donation, go to: Donate to Every Kid Sports
11. All Kids Play
The mission of All Kids Play is to increase quality youth sports participation by providing financial assistance to families and communities that lack sufficient resources. Plus, offer education on safe and healthy sports-related play.
All Kids Play has several different programs that help support their mission. The Grant program provides funding for families who lack the resources to pay for youth sports. Grants are available to athletes in grades K-12 that play recreational sports in low-income communities.
All Kids Play also provides free resources for coaches and parents to encourage safe and healthy play, including life skills, player safety, and nutrition resources.
👉 To apply for a grant, go to: All Kids Play Youth Sports Grants
👉 To volunteer or make a donation, go to: Get Involved with All Kids Play
12. America SCORES
For over 25 years, America SCORES has provided after-school soccer programs to 130,000+ kids in North America.
Athletes in the program can attend after-school soccer programs and language arts instruction for 2 hours each day. The program is focused on improving physical fitness, teamwork skills, and academic scores. Students are also encouraged to become active community members.
👉 To donate, go to: Donate to America SCORES
👉 To volunteer, go to: Volunteer with America SCORES
Play4Autism is based in New York City and seeks to increase public awareness and acceptance of autism while improving children's quality of life and hope.
Programs are designed for children ages 3 and older and help improve self-esteem and social interaction for children on the autism spectrum.
Activities include Bowling, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Soccer, Yoga, and more.
👉 To make a donation, go to: Donate to Play4Autism
👉 To RSVP for programs, go to: RSVP for Play4Autism
Leveling the playing field for youth sports
Supporting youth sports charities can provide equal opportunities for young athletes and increase youth sports participation. Many charities also need volunteer help in addition to monetary donations.
Whether you’re an individual or representing a business, contributions of time or money can significantly impact young athletes' lives. You can support a local youth sports organization or a national charity that supports a cause you care about.
Youth sports charities FAQ
Is All Kids Play legitimate?
Yes! All Kids Play is a charity that helps provide youth sports opportunities for young athletes in low income communities. To learn more go to allkidsplay.org
What are the largest youth sports organizations in the US?
The largest youth sports organizations in the US are national organizations that support youth sports participation. Some of the largest are:
- Little League
- US Youth Soccer
- USA Football
- American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO)
- NFL Flag
- The Jr. NBA
Is Athletes for Hope a nonprofit organization?
Yes! Athletes for Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was founded in 2006. You can learn more at www.athletesforhope.org.
What is the mission statement of Good Sports?
The Good Sports Mission Statement is: To give all kids the lifelong benefits of sport and physical activity by providing equipment, apparel and footwear to those most in need.