North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Initiative Could Help With Funding For Football Fields

The Carolina Panthers of the National Football League are connected with an initiative that may be of interest to NCHSAA member schools.

The NFL Youth Football Fund Grassroots Program is a partnership of the National Football League Youth Football Fund (NFL YFF) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to provide non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations, middle schools and high schools with financing and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety, and accessibility of local football fields.

Parks and ball fields can serve as tremendous community assets because they offer opportunities for recreation, education, and relaxation that contribute to the local quality of life, especially for young people. In eight years of programming, the Fields Program has awarded $17 million in grants for 155 projects with total development costs of $70 million in over 50 cities across the country. Grants are announced and awarded annually in the early winter.

LISC is hosting webcasts on their website during three phases of the grant application process. The first was held in September and will allow LISC to walk potential applicants through the RFP process, explaining all aspects of the grant application. The second webcast will occur in October to help to ensure that all applicants are on the right track as they continue to complete all application requirements.

The final webcast will take place after grant awards have been announced and will allow the grant recipients, NFL teams and local LISC offices to discuss next steps (e.g., announcements, protocol for groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting events, grant agreement letters, agreements between contractors and grantees, allocation of funding, etc.).

All webcasts also will be archived allowing those who were unable to participate to secure much needed information and best practices.

In addition to LISC’s existing responsibility of providing ongoing technical assistance to grantees (e.g., helping grantees stay on project schedule and within budget; preparing applications for additional project funding, if necessary; managing relationships with other public and private sector partners, etc.), LISC also will oversee construction of the field projects to ensure that contractors adhere to budgets and construction timelines and also will monitor programming and maintenance of completed field project sites. This will include twice yearly site visits for a minimum of three years following completion of the field project.

If you have any questions please contact lisc at (212) 455-9800 or email: