GAMECHANGERS|Sports Micro-Venture Fund – microfinancing CAN change the game

Since the pioneering efforts of Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, the idea of microfinance has captured the imagination and attention of individuals, organizations, and companies in the development world. Filling the gap between charity for basic sustenance and large loans for bigger enterprises, microfinance is focused, more hands on, when it comes to knowing those who seek to use the funding to create meaningful changes for themselves and others. Microfinancing certainly has a place in the world of sport and development and we are seeing it in action in a partnership amongst two leaders in the field.

Architecture for Humanity and Nike Inc.’s Social Innovations established a revolving grants program that has funded the design and construction of innovative, sustainable and safe places to play. The goal is to provide capital to implement these structures in communities that may be typically overlooked.

In the past 18 months the program has funded innovative projects in Afghanistan (Skate), Brazil (Football/Soccer), Kenya (Basketball) and the United States (American Football).

GAMECHANGERS is still seeking proposals for the final round of funding to support the construction of sports facilities offering programs that tackle social issues in the community. This Request for Proposal (RFP) process will award up to $500,000 in funds and is directed toward micro-interventions with a construction time line of 6 to 9 months. The majority of these grants will be $25,000 for building or upgrading facilities and completing existing projects. 10% of the funding will be earmarked for the professional design services and engineering.

At the discretion of the funding team a small number of selected proposals will be awarded additional funds based on need and scope of impact.

Here is breakdown of available funds:

  • Africa – 2 x $25,000
  • the Americas – 2 x $25,000
  • Asia – 2 x $25,000
  • Europe – 2 x $25,000
  • Oceania – 2 x $25,000

plus up to $250,000 in additional funding.

Who is eligible?

This Request for Proposal (RFP) is open to locally-based organizations that empower the community through sports as a mechanism to spur social change and/or economic development. Projects can be anywhere in the world. They may have singular goals or multiple functions. They should address one or more of the following key areas:

  • Improved access to opportunities to participate in sport
  • Removal of physical, economic, social and gender barriers to participation in sport
  • Improved social cohesion
  • Improved physical activity
  • Provides innovative alternatives to play spaces for communities that lack resources
  • Positively affects the environment or reduces negative environmental impact of sport-related initiatives
  • Generates opportunities for social and economic empowerment

If you would like to apply, please click here to visit the application site. Also, please note that the submission period ends October 6.