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 as well as become stewards of the environment. Sports Diplomacy programs can be an important tool for advancing foreign policy goals and connecting with audiences with whom traditional diplomacy proves challenging, including 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 CLOSED.

Sports-based people-to-people exchanges are central to building and promoting 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 focus on addressing critical social issues.

Programs will focus on effective ways that sport can play a role in promoting more stable and inclusive communities, and as an alternative to anti-social behavior. Project goals should include the importance of leadership, responsibility, teamwork, healthy living, and self-discipline to demonstrate how organized sports can encourage youth to stay in school, prevent substance abuse and violence, and mitigate extremist voices. In addition, projects should aim to include 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. Project goals should include improving the quality of life for persons with disabilities by providing affordable, inclusive sports experiences that build self-esteem and confidence, enhancing active participation in community life, and making a significant contribution to the physical and psychological health of people with disabilities.

Programs should emphasize the responsibility of the broader community to support healthy behaviors, and educate young people how to prevent and manage non-communicable diseases, as well as the importance of environmental sustainability, through sports programs. Project goals should include engaging youth and youth influencers at the local level to use sport to highlight and increase environmental awareness with an emphasis on sustainable practices. Programs may address a range of topics including: empowering communities and fighting crime through positive alternatives, clean energy, food security, clean water, clean air, sustainable corporate social responsibility programs, sustainable sporting event and mega-sporting event planning, and/or use of recycled sporting equipment or materials.


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 exchange grant since 2009.

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