Who's the Biggest Youth Sports Funder in the Northeast?

The Yawkey Foundations were built upon a baseball legacy. Tom Yawkey purchased the Boston Red Sox in 1933, and after the Sox were sold in 2002, $400 million in proceeds to went to the Yawkey Foundations. While Yawkey Foundation I continues to focus on conservation and wildlife preservation in Georgetown County, South Carolina, Yawkey Foundation II takes a broader approach with support with six distinct local giving areas (Read Yawkey Foundations: Boston Area Grants).

One of those giving areas which is particularly unique is devoted to youth and amateur athletics. This should come as no surprise given Yawkey’s baseball background, but it’s noteworthy because not many foundations devote grant dollars to this cause.

Yawkey has been a consistent support of the Boston Baseball Camp, an organization that started in 1990 to help Boston kids develop skills in baseball, leadership, teamwork, and sportsmanship. According to Yawkey’s recently released grants report, the foundation committed $30,000 to the Boston Baseball Camp to fund a summer camp for local disadvantaged children.

“We want to get them out of the house, away from their computers and iPads,” one of the instructors, Mark Matanes, told the Boston Herald. “We want them to get some exercise and have some fun, which is what we remember doing when we were their age. The world has changed, but the love of baseball remains the same. That’s what this is all about.”

But this isn’t the only youth athletic program that Yawkey has been supporting lately. In the realm of youth camp programs, Yawkey provided between $5,000 and $50,000 to local Boys and Girls Clubs, the Camp Harbor View Foundation, and Easter Seals of Massachusetts. Yawkey also provides organizations with funds for facilities and equipment, including a $500,000 grant to Boston College High School/UMASS Boston for a baseball field improvement project last year. Amateur baseball program grantees are often located outside the city limits as well, including the All Dorchester Sports League, the Cape Cod Baseball League, and Little League Baseball in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Between July 2002 and December 2013, approximately 18 percent of Yawkey grantmaking has gone towards youth and amateur athletics. This is absolutely one of the best foundations to keep in mind for youth sports programs in the Northeastern United States.

The Yawkey Foundations are currently only accepting applications from organizations they’ve previously supported. Youth and amateur athletics applications are due by November 15th each year, and grant requests are capped at $25,000 unless otherwise directed. General inquiries can be directed to the foundation by phone at (781) 329-7470.