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|Articles - November 2010|
|Thursday, October 21, 2010|
One project will provide swim lessons for underserved kids in east Multnomah County. Another helped build a skateboard park in Afghanistan. Others under consideration would power Tanzanian villages with bicycle-generated electricity, support a “slum soccer” program in India and organize the first-ever “Caribbean pole-vault summit” on the island country of St. Lucia.
Two new grant programs backed by Beaverton-headquartered Nike, one local and the other global, are pouring seed money into projects from Clatskanie to Kenya.
The local program is the $500,000-per-year Nike Employee Grant Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. The fund was announced in May and announced its first 18 winners in late September. Among the local nonprofits receiving between $5,000 and $20,000 in the first round are:
Nike has committed to funding the program with $1.5 million over the next three years. Winners will be announced twice a year.
The global program is a collaboration between Nike and San Francisco-based Architecture for Humanity called GameChangers. It offers $500,000 per year for “micro interventions” that tackle social problems and/or economic development through sports facilities for youth.
Early winners have included the Kabul skate park called Skateistan, a basketball court in Kenya that captures rainfall for clean drinking water and a resource center for participants in the Homeless World Cup.
GameChangers was launched a year ago. In addition to money from Nike, winning projects also receive help from a professional design team provided by Architecture for Humanity. Proposals vying for $25,000 GameChangers grants in the current funding cycle include:
“There’s a lot of grass-roots programs out there that need support, and seed capital is always helpful,” says Nike spokeswoman Kate Meyers. “As a company founded on innovation we’re always looking for organizations that are doing things that are interesting and innovative.”
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