The Atlanta United Foundation (AUF) strives to make the game of soccer accessible and inclusive for individuals across the state of Georgia. Through the global game of soccer, our grant programs stress the importance of physical fitness while building a supportive culture of play and sportsmanship. AUF invests in nonprofit organizations that make soccer fun, exciting, and accessible for individuals who otherwise would not get to participate. AUF is an affiliated fund of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.



Grant Guidelines

AUF makes grants to nonprofit organizations that show promise for extending soccer programs and participation to children and adults who would not otherwise get to participate. AUF receives many more inquiries than it can fund. Only the most compelling ideas may ultimately receive funding.

Program Grants

Nonprofit organizations seeking grants to expand soccer programs and participation should start by sending a Letter of Inquiry (LOI). The LOI should be a two- or three-page document that explains the project, the population that will be served, the timeline for implementation and a cost estimate. AUF does not accept unsolicited proposals. Based on a review submission, AUF will determine whether to invite a full proposal. Program Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. An invitation to submit a full proposal does not represent a commitment to funding.

With Program Grants, AUF places special emphasis on projects serving high-need groups in Marietta, Atlanta and DeKalb County. AUF is especially interested in projects that do more than provide fleeting exposure to soccer and prefers to invest in innovations that result in systemic, long-term changes in access to and participation in soccer. AUF is committed to expanding access and participation through culturally appropriate ways and seeks innovations that increase the pool of coaches and officials who can help attract women and minorities to the game. AUF is also interested in ideas that stimulate public and private funding from other sources.

AUF will begin reviewing and responding to LOI submissions in January 2017. Nonprofit organizations with a 501(c)3 designation may submit an LOI at any time during the year to John Bare (JBare@ambfo.com).

Play Spaces, Pitches and Fields

Organizations seeking capital grants to construct or enhance soccer facilities and surfaces should submit a detailed Letter of Inquiry (LOI) describing the project, the timeline, the estimated cost and how the project will expand access and participation for individuals who would not otherwise get to play soccer. The LOI should provide documentation on the ownership of the property and/or facility (including evidence of clear title) and details on all public and private funding sources. The LOI should include a description of the five-year maintenance plan and source of funding for maintenance and operations. Organizations should submit LOIs to John Bare (JBare@ambfo.com).

AUF will review submissions for capital funding as submitted in the beginning of 2017. Based on review of LOI submissions, AUF will determine whether to invite organizations to submit full proposals. When AUF invites proposals for capital projects, AUF expects to require organizations to raise matching funds and to provide evidence of financial capacity to operate and maintain the property and/or facility for a period of five years. While AUF may consider funding at any stage of a capital campaign, AUF expects any grant awarded to be paid as last-in funding. That is, AUF grants for play spaces, pitches and fields are expected to be paid only when projects are underway (not in the planning stage) and all other funding is in place.

AUF does not consider LOI submissions from individuals, schools, universities, real estate developers, clubs or any organization intending to construct or enhance a play space, pitch or field for private or exclusive use.

Equipment Donations

Recognizing that equipment donations can remove barriers to participation for youth who would not otherwise get to play soccer, AUF expects to launch an equipment donations program 2017. Equipment donations will be awarded on a competitive basis. The program will be open to any group in Georgia. Applicants will not need to carry a 501(c)3 nonprofit designation. AUF will provide details on the application process in the coming months.

Additional Criteria

Due to the volume of inquiries, AUF is unable to respond to submissions that that fall outside of the Grant Guidelines. In addition to the priorities and conditions described above in the Grant Guidelines, AUF does not consider funding for:

  • individuals
  • scholarships
  • houses of worship or religious activity
  • operating support for middle school or high school team sports, development of elite athletes, elite sports leagues, AAU teams or travel teams
  • parochial or private schools or public schools and/or agencies (booster clubs, PTA or PTO groups), however community-based non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) designation, who meet all other organizational criteria and that run programs within a public school, may submit an inquiry to run a program within that school

Organizations seeking funds for projects that fall outside of AUF’s areas of focus should not submit letters of inquiry. Organizations looking for foundations with an interest in their work should contact the Foundation Center library, which makes available a searchable database nonprofits can use to develop funding leads.