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In July 2015, the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball announced a commitment of $30 million toward a new joint initiative that will focus on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and Canada, titled the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation (YDF). 

The YDF funds are designated for a comprehensive list of potential efforts that focus on, but are not limited to: training and recognition programs for coaches; matching grants for youth baseball academies; outreach and matching programs for Major Leaguers and former Major Leaguers who desire to work with youth baseball programs in their communities; and defraying the expense to play in elite-level programs and showcases.  The YDF was designed to supplement similar efforts that are already underway to grow the game internationally, outside of the United States and Canada. 

If you are interested in applying for a YDF grant, please read the below before proceeding.

The MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation will initially evaluate your request based on whether it addresses one or more of the following key criteria – Does this project...

  • Increase the number of youth participating in baseball and softball programs.
  • Improve the quality of youth baseball and softball programs.
  • Create new or innovative ways of expanding and improving baseball or softball programs.
  • Programs that can obtain matching funds will be viewed favorably.
  • Address programs for children aged 10-16.
  • Support existing programs which have demonstrated success in providing a quality baseball or softball experience for youth.
  • Address opportunities for minorities and women.

The MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation will also evaluate the each applicant’s ability to demonstrate its:

  • Commitment to increase youth participation in baseball and softball and to be inclusive in all areas of its program;
  • Thorough planning of the proposed project;
  • Ability to be self-sustaining operationally. Strong partnerships with other organizations, agencies, local business community and individuals;
  • Willingness and ability to provide complete and accurate information during the application and review process;
  • Ability to manage and account for the use of its current funds and to provide regular financial reports and summaries of performance and
  • Willingness to adhere to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation Terms and Conditions and Grant Recipient Responsibilities.

Before submitting a letter of inquiry, please read carefully and consider the following important information:

  • YDF is intended to provide funding for incremental programming and facilities for youth baseball and softball programs, not for normal operating expenses or as a substitute for existing funding or fundraising activities.
  • YDF generally considers projects that include capital expenditures for youth baseball and softball programs such as baseball/softball equipment and uniforms
  • Expenditures such as annual operating expenses (i.e. annual salaries, field rental, umpire fees, insurance, administrative expenses, membership dues, advertising and promotional expenses, bank charges or audit expenses, etc.), other third party overhead costs, the purchase of land, multi-sport facilities, parking lots, concession stands, grandstands and restrooms will not be considered for YDF funding. Travel teams serving low-income players are favorably viewed by YDF and encouraged to apply for YDF-eligible projects as outlined above.

Thank you for your interest. As we work to better serve the many youth baseball & softball organizations, we are currently undergoing organizational restructuring.  As a result, we are not accepting applications at this time. Please check back next month.

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