How do grants work?
There are many foundations that give money to sailors and teams that are aspiring to raise their “game” and compete at the regional, national and international levels of the sport. These foundations have a special relationship with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that allows individuals to make tax-free contributions to them. In turn, these foundations need to spend the money they raise in ways that help people improve at what they are doing, in this case sailing. These “gifts” of money are called “grants.”
How to apply for a grant
To receive a grant, you normally need to apply for it. Most foundations will have a simple form to fill out. Others will want a letter. Basically the foundation will want to know:
- who you are
- what your short and long term goals are in the sport
- what your short and possibly long term sailing plans are
- what your current budget needs are
It is important to convey to the foundation that you are serious about your efforts to organize a successful campaign. That doesn’t mean you will necessarily be successful at first. But it does mean that you will try your hardest to be as successful as you can be.
Most foundations will ask for a minimal amount back in return for helping you. This can be as simple as a brief report of how you did at the event they were helping you attend, or lessons learned while campaigning for the event, or information that may help the next grant recipient in some way. Foundations really enjoy putting photographs on their Web sites, so take plenty of digital photos and send the good ones to the foundation(s) that helped you.
Some grants to consider
Sailing Foundation of New York partners with US Sailing and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider to provide the fundraising structure for, and direct grants to, many members of the current US Team.
Apply for a SFNY grant
CISA (California International Sailing Association), founded in 1971, supports amateur sailors by providing travel grants for regional, national and international competition and funds local sailing programs and racing clinics.
For more options, check out our full list of sailing foundations.