Road Runners Club of America

We Run the Nation: Growing the Sport of Running Since 1958


Since 2007, the RRCA and Kids Run the Nation ha​ve assisted running clubs, schools, and community nonprofits interested in implementing or currently hosting youth running programs. 

This small grant program is funded by restricted contributions​ and no funds are used to for administrative ​purposes. Your contribution to the Kids Run the Nation Fund will help bring the joy of running to kids nationwide and encourage then to live a healthy life.

Since the Fund's inception, the RRCA has granted a total of $136,550 to deserving youth programs around the U.S. and donated more than 86,000 copies of Kids Run the Nation printed materials. Grants are awarded on an annual basis through an application and selection process overseen by a volunteer selection panel. 

Grant Application Criteria

In 2016, a total of $30,000 will be awarded as small grants ranging from $500 to $1,000. Running clubs, events, or other organizations with the IRS 501(c)(3) designation are eligible to apply. Elementary and middle schools that provide an organized after-school running program are eligible as well. No grants will be given to individuals under any circumstances. All applicants must be an official 501(c)(3), school, parent booster club, PTA, or a similar entity. The Kids Run the Nation grant application period will open August 1, 2016 and close October 1, 2016.

Please review the following criteria before submitting your grant application:

  • Your running program should be more than just a one-time event. It should be a structured running program that ideally utilizes the RRCA’s Kids Run the Nation youth running curriculum. The goal of your program should be to have kids running regularly, more than once each week for multiple weeks, as opposed to participating in a single event. However, the program may culminate in a goal fun run or other organized running event.
  • Your program may be a start-up program or a pre-existing program.
  • Your program must be gender-inclusive, encouraging and welcoming participation by both boys and girls. The program may not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnic origin, or economic status. The program may outline age groups and may indicate a minimum and maximum age for participation.
  • Your program should focus on participation, but may include competitive running activities or events.
  • Your running program must maintain policies and procedures that ensure the safety of the participants and outline expectations of program leaders. Your program should require criminal background checks on all adult program staff and volunteers.

 What Kids Run the Nation grants may fund:

  • Marketing materials, brochures, posters, fliers, and other printed or digital materials informing parents about the program
  • Advertising the program in a community newspaper or website
  • Hosting a program website
  • Permit or usage fees to use a local park or running track
  • Hydration supplies, including water bottles, cups, or coolers
  • Snacks and meals for program participants
  • Incentives and awards such as toe tokens, ribbons, shirts, water bottles, backpack tags, patches, etc.
  • Mileage logs, worksheets, and other written materials for program participants
  • Other items that the RRCA Grant Selection Committee sees fit to fund

What Kids Run the Nation grants will not fund:

  • Sports drinks or other high sugar, high sodium beverages
  • Sponsorship for individual runners
  • Travel to competitive events
  • Race entry fees for individual participants
  • Social events for program staff or volunteers
  • Salaries or travel costs for paid program staff
  • Other items the RRCA ​Grant ​Selection ​Committee determines to be ineligible for funding

Apply for a Kids Run the Nation Grant >>

Learn About Past Grant Recipients


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