The Trail Blazers are dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families where they live, learn, and play.


We know that active kids do better – in school and in life – and that inactivity is pervasive in our communities. As the Aspen Institute’s Project Play report states: “Fewer than half of children ages 6 to 11 meet the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation for engaging in at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. One way to address that deficit is through sport activity, especially team sports, as children often enjoy playing in groups.” Sport is the core of the Trail Blazers organization, and our goal is to support organizations that provide opportunities and inspire kids to get active and moving through play.

Nonprofit organizations should apply for only ONE of the grant opportunities listed below based on fit with their organization’s mission or program focus, so if you apply for this PLAY grant, please do not submit a grant for the LIVE or LEARN grants.

PLAY Grant, presented by Nike

One of the ways the Trail Blazers Foundation invests in our region is by providing cash grants to organizations that fit our mission. When it comes to our ‘PLAY’ focus area, these are organizations throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington that are getting kids from traditionally under-served communities and their families moving.

Through our PLAY grant we give

  • One-year grants of up to $10,000 per year
  • General operating (unrestricted) or program-specific funding to nonprofit organizations serving youth ages 18 and under
  • Unrestricted funding to 501c3 organizations serving youth in Oregon or Clark County, Washington
  • To organizations with a mission, primary goal, or program focused on getting kids (and families) active. If your organization's mission does not completely align, but you have specific programming that supports these goals, we also invite you to apply.
  • If you represent a PTO, PTA, or school, please instead apply for a grant from the Trail Blazers Foundation and Wells Fargo’ through the Take it to the Court for Education program by visiting to complete an application in the fall.

We prioritize organizations that

  • Focus on sport, play, or activity for kids and families in their core mission or as a primary goal of one of their major programs
  • Work with youth who are coming from communities that have been historically underserved based on race, gender, socioeconomic status, ability/disability, sexual orientation, or other factors.
  • Represent geographic diversity. Since we raise money from fans across the state for the Trail Blazers Foundation, it is important for us to give back to communities throughout the state.
  • Are able to show – either through quantitative or qualitative means – that the existence of their program has made a difference in the lives of youth
  • Are directly serving youth and families
  • Have not received funding from the Trail Blazers Foundation in the past year

We are not able to give to

  • Individuals
  • Private foundations
  • Schools
  • Counties
  • Specific sports teams or leagues – if you are a basketball league or team please visit for basketball-related opportunities
  • Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, class, gender, or ethnicity, or politically or religiously affiliated organizations

Deadline and Timeline

  • Applications accepted beginning February 2017
  • The application deadline is Thursday, April 13, 2017
  • All grants will be evaluated in May and announced in June
  • Funds will be distributed to recipients by June 30, 2017


If your organization aligns with these guidelines and you are interested in applying for a grant, please complete the application below clearly and concisely. Once you begin the application, you will NOT be able to save your progress, so be ready to complete it in its entirety before submitting.