Road Runners Club of America

Empowering Everyone to Run!

Kids Run the Nation Grant Fund

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

Since the Fund's inception, the RRCA has granted more than $300,000 to deserving youth programs around the U.S. and donated more than 100,000 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.

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Your donation to the Kids Run the Nation Fund will help bring the joy of running to kids nationwide and encourage them to live a healthy life.

Grant Application Criteria

In 2021, small grants ranging from $500 to $1,000 will be awarded to youth running programs across the U.S. 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 2021 grant application period will open May 1, 2021 and close August 1, 2021. All applicants will be notified of their application status by September 1, 2021. Both the application deadline and notification date are subject to change. 

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 children of all genders. 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 meet SafeSport Act requirements, including completion of sexual abuse awareness and reporting training and requiring 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 the community 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, running track, or other facility
  • 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 and digital 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
  • Sponsorships 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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