The primary mission of the Tony Hawk Foundation is to promote high quality, public skateparks in low-income areas throughout the United States, and to support International programs that enrich the lives of youth through skateboarding. Only organizations seeking to build free, public skateparks in low-income communities in the United States may apply for a grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation. International projects are considered on an invitation-only basis.
While we realize that not every community can afford to build big, expensive skateparks, we feel strongly that public skateparks should be designed and constructed by experienced contractors. We also believe that local officials should treat public skateparks the same way they treat public basketball courts or tennis courts, meaning that anyone may show up and use them anytime, unsupervised. The foundation primarily considers skatepark projects that:
- are designed and built from concrete by qualified and experienced skatepark contractors.
- include local skaters throughout the planning, fundraising, and design process.
- are in low-income areas and/or areas with a high population of “at-risk” youth.
- can demonstrate a strong grassroots commitment to the project, particularly in the form of fundraising by local skateboarders and other community groups.
- have a creative mix of street obstacles (rails, ledges, stairs, etc.) and transition/vert terrain (quarterpipes, bowls, halfpipes, etc.)
- don’t require skaters or their parents to sign waivers.
- encourage skaters to look after their own safety and the safety of others without restricting their access to the park or over-regulating their use of it.
- are open during daylight hours, 365 days a year.
- don’t charge an entrance fee.
- are in areas that currently have no skateboarding facilities.
Supply vs. Demand
As skateparks grow in popularity, the demand for grants from the Tony Hawk Foundation is far exceeding our available resources. We have received as many as 450 applications in a single year, with the vast majority requesting our maximum $25,000 grant. In other words, the competition for THF funds is stiff, so please don’t get your hopes too high. If your proposed skatepark is not located in a low-income area if you are not able to illustrate strong community and grassroots support for the project, and if your project does not meet the criteria listed above, you are unlikely to receive a significant grant from our foundation.
All Tony Hawk Foundation Grant Applicants will receive a detailed review of their projects and skatepark designs, whether a grant is awarded or not.
Before beginning the Grant Application process, you should review these eligibility requirements.
Grant Applicant Eligibility
Can we apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant?
- If your organization is not a public charity (organized under IRC Sec. 501c3, and qualified under IRC Sec. 170b1A and does not have a Federal ID# number and an IRS Determination Letter to confirm your tax-exempt status) or your organization is not a state or local agency, including public school systems or public projects, it is not eligible to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant. Name of the Applicant Organization MUST match the name on the IRS document you will be asked to submit.
- If your organization is not prepared to sign a Grant Agreement document absolving the Tony Hawk Foundation from any and all liability claims resulting from use of your skatepark, you are not eligible to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
- If your organization plans to build a skatepark from temporary ramps (steel or wood), it is not eligible to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant. Your project must be a permanent, concrete skatepark.
- If your organization has already received a grant larger than $1,000 from the Foundation for the same project, it is not eligible to apply for another Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
- If your organization seeks funds for anything other than the construction of a NEW skatepark in the United States (including projects such as expansion of an existing skatepark or amenities like bleachers or water fountains), it is not eligible to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
- If the Median Household Income in the city or town where the skatepark will be located in is significantly higher than your State’s Median Household Income (using U.S. Census 2010 data from www.census.gov), your organization is not eligible to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
- If your project is just getting off the ground and your organization has not achieved ANY fundraising goals or secured a location for your skatepark, you are not eligible to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
- If your organization does not have at least a preliminary design for the skatepark, it is not eligible to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
- If you plan to charge a fee or require a membership to use the skatepark, your organization is not eligible to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
- Aside from daylight hours, city curfew, or city park hours, if you plan to limit the hours of access to the skatepark, your organization is not eligible to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
- If your skatepark will not be located on public property, you are not eligible to apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant (this condition does not include skateparks built on private property that will then be donated to a public entity—city, county, parks, and recreation department, etc.).
How To Apply
The Tony Hawk Foundation seeks to foster lasting improvements in society, with an emphasis on supporting and empowering youth in disadvantaged communities. In the U.S., the Foundation supports the creation of public skateboard parks that promote healthy, active lifestyles.
Focus of Foundation Grants
The principal focus of foundation grants will be to encourage and facilitate the design, development, and construction of new quality skateboard parks and facilities, located in low-income communities in the United States. International organizations or those seeking to fund for anything other than the construction of a skateboard park in the U.S. may not apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation grant.
- Minimum Grant: $1,000
- Maximum Grant: $25,000
The foundation may offer technical assistance on design and construction, promotional materials, and other information. The foundation may also facilitate support from vendors, suppliers, and community leaders.
Grants are based on a one-time, single-year award, although they may be paid over more than one year, if appropriate. The foundation does not provide sustaining funds or multi-year grants.
Applicant must be a public charity, organized under IRC Sec. 501(C)(3), and qualified under IRC Sec. 170(B)(1)(A), or a state or local agency, including public school systems or public projects. For organizations that are not municipalities or state or local agencies, proof of federal tax-exempt status is required with the grant application. A photocopy of the organization’s IRS Determination Letter, showing its tax-exempt status, will satisfy this requirement. The foundation is legally prohibited from providing grants to private, for-profit entities.
Built to Play Grant Funding
Skatepark projects in select counties within New York and Michigan may qualify for a Built to Play skatepark grant. Please visit the Built to Play grant page for more information.
Application Procedure and Process
Tony Hawk Foundation grant applications are completed online, and all supporting documents are then mailed to our office. A printed Worksheet may be used to prepare answers before completing the online grant application. THE PRINTED WORKSHEET MAY NOT SUBSTITUTE THE ONLINE GRANT APPLICATION. Printed grant-application worksheets and supporting documents sent to our offices that do not correspond to a completed online application will not be considered.
We recommend completing the Worksheet and collecting ALL necessary supporting documents before beginning the online application process. Supporting documents include the following:
IRS Determination Letter: If this application is coming from a non-profit organization other than a municipality or public agency, a copy of your IRS Determination Letter must be submitted with this application.
Press: Please include documentation (such as newspaper clips or letters from prominent officials) of community support for your skatepark.
Skatepark Design: A copy of your skatepark design must be submitted. A final design of the proposed skatepark is preferred, but a preliminary design is acceptable. The Tony Hawk Foundation Design Committee will review each skatepark design, make recommendations to the Board of Directors, and may return the diagram with comments and feedback. Including a copy of your skatepark design helps the Board understand the scope of your project.
Financial Statements: Most recent financial statements and budget of skatepark committee, if any (please don’t include your municipality’s entire budget. We just need to see numbers pertinent to the skatepark project).
If the grant application is approved, the applicant will be required to sign a Grant Agreement, confirming the terms of the award.
Only applications submitted via the online form will be considered. Applications may not be submitted via printed forms, FAX, e-mail, or CDs and other digital media.
The foundation anticipates approving grant requests twice a year. To be considered within a calendar semester, applications should be submitted via the online Grant Application on or before the dates posted at the top of this page. All required supporting documents must be postmarked within one business day following the Grant Application deadline.
Tony Hawk Foundation offers grants twice a year.
- January 10, 2018 (for awards announced in February 2018. Application will be available here after November 29, 2017)
- June 13, 2018 (for awards announced in July 2018. Application will be available here after April 30, 2018)
Guidelines For Reapplying
There is no limit to the number of times an organization or community can apply for a Tony Hawk Foundation Grant, though any applicant may only receive one Tony Hawk Foundation Grant over $1,000. Grant recipients that have received no more than $1,000 from the Tony Hawk Foundation may re-apply for another grant.