The International Sports Programming Initiative (ISPI) is an annual open competition that allows U.S. public and private non-profit organizations meeting the provisions described in Internal Revenue Code section 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) to submit proposals for exchange projects designed to reach underserved youth and/or their coaches/sports administrators who manage youth sports programs. The International Sports Programming Initiative uses sports to help underserved youth around the world develop important leadership skills, achieve academic success, promote tolerance and respect for diversity, and positively contribute to their home and host communities. Sports Diplomacy programs are an important tool for advancing U.S. foreign policy goals through interaction with hard-to-reach groups such as at-risk youth, women, minorities, people with disabilities, and non-English speakers.

This year, the Bureau seeks proposals that address the Sport for Social Change theme:

Sport for Social Change

The proposal submission period is now OPEN

Sports-based people-to-people exchanges build and promote values of inclusion and open opportunities for people to contribute fully to society, and create opportunities to establish the trust needed to build a more stable, secure, and prosperous world.  Exchanges funded under the Sport for Social Change theme will focus on a broad range of audiences and address critical social issues overseas and within the United States, including effective ways that sport can play a role in promoting more stable and inclusive communities.

Project goals include:

  • Demonstrate how organized sports, through the principles of leadership, responsibility, teamwork, healthy living, and self-discipline, can encourage youth to stay in school, prevent substance abuse and violence, and mitigate extremist voices.
  • Demonstrate the use of sport as a tool to promote tolerance and understanding through organized activities that appeal to youth and youth influencers and that focus on conflict prevention/resolution. 
  • Demonstrate how sports can improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities by providing affordable, inclusive sports experiences that build self-esteem and confidence, enhance active participation in community life, and make a significant contribution to the physical and psychological health of people with disabilities.
  • Enable local youth sports organizations in the United States and their counterparts overseas to share best practices, emphasizing the importance of grassroots community-based sports programs in a community’s development and sustainability.
  • Share local community-based practices globally while learning from counterparts in another community outside of the United States.
  • Emphasize the responsibility of the broader community to support healthy behaviors and teach young people how to prevent and manage non-communicable diseases through sports programs.



View all open funding opportunities for academic, cultural, and professional exchange and training programs.

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Foreign and American participants
Have been involved in the two-way International Sports Programming Initiative program since 2002.

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