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Beyond Sport Programs Continue to Innovate, Deepen Impact in 2020

December 18, 2020

The past twelve months have tested the world in ways we never imagined. As professional sports teams began closing their doors, grassroots sport organizations followed soon after. Sport-for-development organizations have faced setback after setback in a challenging 2020. 

But amidst the hardships, we have seen incredible resilience and ingenuity from the Beyond Sport Family. Our programs have sought to help those in the most need, and those in our Network that continue to change lives through sport in the face of overwhelming adversity. Our programs aim to amplify the impact of inspiring projects around the world through building capacity: from business support tools, to elevating stories of their work through the media and grant funding.

Founded in 2009, Beyond Sport celebrates, supports, raises awareness and provides funding for organizations using sport to help make the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality. It goes beyond the traditional grant-giving models by not just funding projects, but providing tools to help organizations innovate and grow.

As we head into the new year, we’re recapping a year of milestones and records - and looking forward to a more impactful (and hopefully more normal) 2021. Here are some of our 2020 highlights:


 
We Supported More Projects with More Resources

Beyond Sport is proud to be able to provide the sport-for-development sector with a record amount of cash funding and valued strategic support in 2020. 

Since its founding, Beyond Sport has provided more than $3.1M in funds and distributed more than $9.5M in long-term strategic support to more than 300 organizations using sport to address social issues around the world.

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This year in total, Beyond Sport will support a record 55 organizations from around the world with grant funding, all of which are harnessing the power of sport to create lasting positive change in their communities. Together with our partners, we will provide these groups with over $ 1 million in cash grants – another milestone figure in the 12-year history of Beyond Sport.

These 50 + funded projects, and dozens more receiving capacity building support, are operating in over 40 countries on six continents, using a wide array of sports to address needs in their communities: from climbing, swimming, football, basketball and more. 

Don't miss out on any funding opportunities in the future! Sign up for our weekly bulletin here. 


 
We Adapted to the Needs of the Time  and created relevant programs to help the sector

In recent years, Beyond Sport has been expanding beyond our flagship program, the Beyond Sport Global Awards, to offer dynamic new methods of supporting organizations in our network.

While we deepened our support administered through the Beyond Sport Global Awards and took the Collective Impact Awards into an exciting year two, we also launched a brand new collaborative program, the Sport for Good Response Fund.

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Achieving more, together: embracing Collective Impact 

In the second year of the Collective Impact Awards, we worked with two leading organizations to address important issues in a world set back by the coronavirus pandemic and inspired by a growing movement for racial equity.

The Collective Impact Award program was initially established to bring together the best and most innovative organizations from around the world that are using sport to address specific UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Following the murder of George Floyd, and in light of the growing Black Lives Matter movement, we launched the Sport for Reduced Racial Inequalities Collective Impact Award supported by The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, an initiative designed to drive collaboration between multiple community sport organizations to address systemic racism, inequality and injustice in the United States.

Helping to shape the guidelines and guide the group, will be an Advisory Panel of subject-matter experts in addition to expert partners: RISEPlay Equity Fund, the Global Sport Institute at Arizona State University, the Nascimento Foundation and LISC. Beyond Sport and the Play Equity Fund are also partnering on a mapping of the US sport for development sector and the current landscape of how sporting organizations are addressing racial inequities.

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And in order to address widening gender inequity gaps caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we partnered with Comic Relief and the BT Supporters Club to create the Sport for Gender Equality Collective Impact Award. The program will see investment in a group of organizations that are using sport to progress Global Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Supported by grant funding of roughly $275,000 and a comprehensive business support package, each program features four organizations who will work together over one year, benefiting from each other’s individual expertise, sharing best practices and working through issues in real-time to drive real, sustainable impact through sport. Once again, we're partnering with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation to make the Collective Impact Awards a reality.

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The Sport for Good Response Fund

When the coronavirus epidemic changed our world this year, thousands of sport for development organisations were forced to halt operations, unable to provide the therapeutic, educational and/or social service programming or support that many communities have come to rely on.

To galvanise financial and in-kind strategic resources for these vitally important community initiatives, we were proud to be among a coalition of organizations supporting the Sport for Good Response Fund, designed to assist sport and social impact organizations to overcome challenges faced as a result of COVID-19 and to come out stronger on the other side.

Partners for the Fund include: Beyond Sport, Chivas, Comic Relief UK, Comic Relief US, Hong Kong Rugby Union Community Foundation, the LA84 Foundation, Laureus Sport for Good and the Z Zurich Foundation. 

A total of 37 organizations that use sport as a tool to address the most complex social issues around the world have received funding to support programs. In addition to cash grants of up to €10,000, select organizations participated in design thinking roundtables, fundraising masterclasses, and 1-to-1 strategic consultancy, all facilitated through Beyond Sport’s sister company, thinkBeyond.

Learn more about the Sport for Good Response Fund and read the newly published Interim Report here.


 
We Celebrated and Supported Organizations in New Ways: the 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards Campaign and more  

When it became apparent that we were not able to convene for an in-person Awards ceremony in New York, we set out to find new ways to promote the incredible work of the organizations in the Beyond Sport Network.

Seeing this as an opportunity to promote inspiring organizations to a truly global audience through a digital approach, we launched the 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards Campaign, a three-month long journey to highlight these best-in-class projects.

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From September through December, we took you around the world to uncover exactly how the 16 amazing organizations who make up the 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards Shortlist are using sport with intention in pursuit of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) – culminating in the exciting Winner Reveal this past Tuesday, December 15.

We invited you to immerse yourself in their work - in video, picture and words - and expand their reach by sharing with your networks in celebration of the human spirit and determination to create a better world for all. In total, the Campaign featured over 45 original videos, 20 in-depth organization profiles, dozens of social media spotlights, and features in a variety of other outlets, from the BBC to the Planet Re-Imagined Podcast.

The 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards Campaign was made possible through the backing of Official Supporter, ESPN, a long-time Beyond Sport partner. 

Learn more about this year’s, Winners, Shortlisters and Collective Impact Award winners and see the complete 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards journey at beyondsport.org/journey.

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In addition to the Awards campaign, we continued to partner with leading organizations to provide world-class strategic support in order to build the capacity of our network organizations.

Throughout this year, we gathered the Beyond Sport community digitally through a variety of workshops, keynote speeches and online events. From the quarterly facilitated workshops with the Collective Impact Award winners, to the roundtable sessions with Sport for Good Response, to tailored consultancy and more, we provided holistic assistance to the sport for development sector. 

Finally, once again, all Beyond Sport Global Award Shortlisted organizations received a comprehensive Business Support Package administered by our partners. This will help them grow and develop to be successful in the future, with assistance in Monitoring and Evaluation from Upshot, scholarship opportunities with George Washington University, legal support from Trust Law, and fundraising expertise from GivenGain. And for the very first time, we’re partnering with Stack Sports to offer organizations digital solutions to payment, participant management, and staff recruiting.

As we set out to put together meaningful programs for 2021, let us know how you think we can best support the sport-for-development sector by dropping us an e-mail at [email protected].



Thank you to all of our incredible partners and friends who have helped us persevere this year. We hope you continue to join us on our mission to make the world a better place through sport. 

To donate to the Beyond Sport  visit our Given Gain page. 

To learn more about the Beyond Sport, get in touch today by contacting our Network and Foundation Manager, Peter at [email protected]

Next

Completing the 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards Journey