USTA Foundation Launches "Rally for the Future" Campaign
7 Sep, 2021
The USTA Foundation, the charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association Incorporated (USTA), has launched the “Rally for the Future” campaign, designed to raise $20 million over the next three years to support more than 250 National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) chapters across the U.S.
Rally for the Future is the largest single fundraising campaign in USTA Foundation history and builds on the success of “Rally to Rebuild,'' which raised more than $6.5 million in 2020 as an emergency grant program to support NJTL chapters facing hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic. All NJTL chapters remained open in 2020 with the help of financial grants and technical assistance provided by the USTA Foundation. In addition, 209 chapters provided at least four weeks of tennis programming, while 186 chapters provided at least four weeks of educational programming throughout the pandemic.
The multi-year Rally for the Future campaign, led by USTA Foundation Chair and tennis legend Chris Evert, launches in May and is targeted toward planning and building the future strength of NJTL network chapters. NJTL network chapters, which are supported by the USTA Foundation, provide free or low-cost tennis and education programming for more than 160,000 under-resourced youth across the country, to ensure all children have equal access to participate in the sport.
“The Rally for the Future campaign marks an opportunity to play an important role in the lives of so many children who can find inspiration, education, and physical fitness through our sport,” said Evert. ”While more people have rediscovered tennis over the past year, we have also seen an increasing number of children who can benefit tremendously from NJTL’s tennis and leadership programs. Rally for the Future will help us close that gap in many communities.”
Tennis saw a resurgence in 2020, with a 22% increase in participation in the U.S., as more than 21.6 million people hit the courts. The boon for the industry has also led to an increase in families turning to NJTL chapters for after-school programs that focus on academic enrichment, life-skills curriculum, and tennis.
US Open sponsors American Express, Deloitte, ESPN and JPMorgan Chase along with the USTA Foundation’s Board of Directors and major supporters of the USTA Foundation, like Jersey Mike’s Subs and the Manitou Fund, continue their commitment in supporting the USTA Foundation through nationwide year-round tennis and education programming.
“We are so grateful to all the sponsors and donors who supported the USTA Foundation through a challenging time and continue to share the passion for our mission,” said USTA Foundation President Kathleen Wu, who was elected in January 2021. “Rally for the Future builds on that support and can exponentially increase the positive, and in some cases, life-changing, impact on thousands of under-resourced youths and their communities through NJTL programming.”
In addition to grants and support to the NJTL Chapters, the Rally for the Future Campaign will help support the following USTA Foundation key programs throughout the year.
- “Return the Serve” presented by CHASE: Chase will support each selected NJTL chapter grant recipient by providing educational and learning opportunities with a focus on financial health.
- NJTL Essay Contest presented by Deloitte: An annual contest where NJTL participants are asked to write essays answering a thought-provoking question requiring research and analysis.
- USTA Foundation College Scholarship Awards: Each year, the USTA Foundation awards scholarships to deserving youth who have participated in USTA Foundation and other organized youth tennis programs, and have demonstrated high academic achievement and require financial assistance for college matriculation.
- Student Athletes/Excellence Program supported by American Express: Excellence Program participants are NJTL chapter youths chosen based on their elite level of tennis ability, educational outcomes and commitment to the pathway to become student-athletes at the collegiate and professional levels. American Express funds the program through Excellence Team grants, regional play opportunities, grants to individual high performing Excellence Program players, among others.
Additional program details and activations will be announced throughout the year.
About USTA Foundation
USTA Foundation Incorporated (USTAF or USTA Foundation), the national charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association Incorporated (USTA), utilizes the powerful combination of tennis and education to enhance the lives of under-resourced youth through its support of the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network. For more than 50 years, NJTL has impacted thousands of youth across the nation, and today the network features more than 250 chapters that reach more than 160,000 young people annually. The USTAF supports these chapters by providing financial grants, scholarship opportunities, curricula, technical assistance, and training. USTAF raises money and public awareness through private donations, corporate sponsorships, foundations, and fundraisers, including the US Open Opening Night Gala, the US Open Paver program, and various Pro-Ams, to name just a few. To date, the USTA Foundation has awarded more than $50 million in grants and scholarships. For more information on the USTA Foundation, visit www.ustafoundation.com, or stay connected through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok (at @USTA).