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Key Criteria

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) will initially evaluate each request based on the following key criteria - Does this project...

  • Increase the number of youth participating in baseball and softball programs?
  • Improve the quality of youth baseball and softball programs?
  • Create new or innovative ways of expanding and improving baseball or softball programs?
  • Generate matching funds? (Please note that most successful applications demonstrate a high ratio of confirmed matching funds - a minimum match of 50 percent is generally required for further consideration.)
  • Address programs for children aged 10-16?
  • Support existing programs which have demonstrated success in providing a quality baseball or softball experience for youth?
  • Address opportunities for minorities and women?

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund will also evaluate the each applicant's ability to demonstrate its:

  • Commitment to increase youth participation in baseball and softball and to be inclusive in all areas of its program;
  • Thorough planning of the proposed project;
  • Ability to be self-sustaining operationally and its ability to maintain fields and facilities on an on-going basis;
  • Strong partnerships with other organizations, agencies, local business community and individuals;
  • Willingness and ability to provide complete and accurate information during the application and review process;
  • Ability to manage and account for the use of grant funds, provide complete and meaningful quarterly and final reports and willingness to adhere to the Baseball Tomorrow Fund Terms and Conditions and Grant Recipient Responsibilities.

Use of Grant Funds

Generally, grant funds are awarded for capital expenditures to benefit youth baseball and softball programs and facilities including, but not limited to:

  • Baseball/softball equipment and uniforms (jerseys, pants, caps, visors, cleats only)
  • Basic baseball/softball field renovations and construction (e.g. infield mix, sod/seeding, bases, dugouts, fencing, field lighting, irrigation system, laser grading, bleachers, etc.)
  • Coaches' training materials

Generally, grant funds are not awarded for the following requests:

  • Operating expenses (i.e. salaries, field rental, umpire fees, insurance, administrative expenses, membership dues, advertising and promotional expenses, bank charges or audit expenses, etc.)
  • Third party overhead costs
  • The purchase of land
  • loan payments
  • work previously completed
  • Travel team expenses: travel expenses, hotel accommodations, food, tournament fees (see note below)
  • "Scholarships" (see note below)
  • Multi-sport facilities
  • Parking lots
  • Concession stands
  • Grandstands and stadiums
  • Restrooms
  • Baseball and softball fields used by other sports and activities other than youth baseball and softball (i.e. soccer in the outfield, community festivals, adult softball leagues, etc.)

Note: BTF favorably views applicants that provide travel team programs and/or "scholarships" (i.e. free or reduced player participation fees) to low-income players and encourages those applicants to apply for BTF-eligible projects as outlined above.

Special Evaluation Criteria for Specific Requests:

Field lights

  • Significantly expand or affect baseball or softball programs in a measurable way in terms of league enrollment and/or field use.
  • Correspond to a demonstrated need in terms of number of teams/participants and field availability.
  • Provide field availability that serves multiple community youth leagues, school programs, etc.
  • Provide field availability that serves youth (18 and under) programs only.
  • Provide field availability that serves both boys and girls baseball and softball programs whenever feasible.
  • Provide proof of ownership or lease agreements and demonstrate partnership agreements with the organizations and agencies involved.
  • Include all necessary permits for the installation of lights.
  • Provide a detailed maintenance plan for the lighted fields.

For all field lighting requests, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund evaluates the quality of the proposed lighting equipment and installation, warranty and service requirements to maintain appropriate light levels for player safety.

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund and Musco Lighting, Inc. have teamed up to support safe and effective field lighting for youth baseball and softball fields. Musco Lighting, Inc. specializes in the design and manufacture of lighting systems for recreation and athletic fields and is recognized as a world-class leader in sports lighting. Information about Musco Lighting, Inc. can be found at

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund gives special preference and consideration to field lighting requests that propose the use of Musco Lighting equipment.

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund strongly encourages applicants to contact Musco Lighting, Inc. to discuss field lighting needs prior to submitting a grant request for field lighting. Musco will provide free consultation to review your lighting needs or existing plan and will offer a Musco solution for your facility. Please call Musco Lighting, Inc. at 800-825-6030.

International Requests

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) awards grants primarily in the 50 states of the U.S., the District of Columbia and Canada to established youth baseball and softball programs and facilities. However, BTF always encourages the growth of the game in new and emerging markets and to communities in which baseball and softball is not offered.

To do so in the most effective, responsible and sustainable way, the BTF selection and evaluation process for grant requests from applicants based outside the 50 states of the U.S. and Canada (or from U.S. and Canada based applicants requesting funds for projects outside the 50 states and Canada) has been adapted to better serve those applicants. Please read carefully the following guidelines by region.

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is a joint initiative of Major League Baseball & the Major League Baseball Players Association