Club and event development are cornerstones of USMS and the top priorities of the strategic plan. As part of a broader club and event development programs, USMS will offer grants designed to support several goals:
- Help USMS clubs add lanes, workouts, coaches, or another location to increase the availability of workouts and attract more adult swimmers
- Support the start of financially viable (i.e., breakeven or profitable) new or expanded USMS clubs within the first six months of operation
- Encourage the creation of new swim meets, open water swims, and other fun swimming-centric events by reducing financial risk
- Provide guidance and funds to help previously sanctioned events increase participation to levels that ensure the long-term viability
- Existing USMS clubs in facilities with capacity to grow to 75+-swimmer club
- Existing USMS clubs in facilities capable of hosting a 100+-swimmer meet
- Aquatics facilities that lack a USMS club and/or event with the capacity to grow a club to 75+ swimmers or host an event with 100+ swimmers
- Communities with desirable open water venues capable of hosting a 100+-swimmer open water event that lack a USMS-sanctioned event
- Location, pool configuration, venue, and the ability to host seven (7) or more workouts a week with suitable lane space will be taken into consideration.
Up to $5,000.00 for the purpose of club start-up or expansion into a specified aquatic facility. USMS will distribute to club up to $1,500 per month to cover expenses in excess of revenues from these activities. The actual grant amount will be determined based on forecasted expenses, details of strategy, marketing resources necessary, etc. Typical grant amount will be $1,500–$2,000. Full grant award will only be available in LMSCs that have agreed to match USMS grant amount (i.e., maximum grant will be $2,500 in LMSCs that don’t match USMS grant amount).
Club will provide monthly detailed accounting to USMS of revenues collected and expenses paid from workout activity at the specified aquatic facility. (If requested by USMS, the club will provide backup documentation for financial activities.)
Up to $3,000 for the purpose of starting a new USMS-sanctioned event or expanding participation of a current sanctioned event. Grant amount will be determined based on forecasted expenses, details of strategy, marketing resources necessary, need, etc. Grant awards are designed to insure a club or event director against a loss from hosting an event and encourage new event development by minimizing financial risk. Grants aren’t intended to be revenue source. However, in some instances, particularly for first-time events, USMS will match $0.50 of every dollar of net income up to the full grant award amount (e.g., $1,500 grant awarded to offset the projected deficit, event realizes $2,000 net income, USMS will award $1,000 incentive grant).
USMS will distribute 50% of the grant amount upon execution of Event Development Letter of Agreement and the remaining amount within 30 days of the conclusion of the event based on the terms of the agreement. The event will provide to USMS monthly accounting of revenues and expenses and if requested, will provide backup documentation for financial agreements and activities.
LMSCs are encouraged to identify aquatic facilities, clubs, and coaches that would benefit from this initiative. LMSCs are strongly encouraged to provide a matching grant of the total amount awarded by USMS. LMSCs with high levels of reserves will be encouraged to fully fund grants offered in their LMSC so resources from the national budget may be used in areas that may not be able to fund grants. The National Office may also fund grants within LMSCs that aren’t participating.
USMS and Club Grant Recipient Agreement
Clubs, coaches, facilities, or event directors will agree to enter into a signed agreement (sample for club and event) and will be asked to collectively evaluate the progress made though this agreement with USMS periodically to ensure the club or event is achieving short-term goals placing them on track for long-term sustainability.
- Make best efforts to grow membership and revenues of the club or participation in event
- Diligently keep expenses in line with the attached Pro Forma Budget and Grant Funding spreadsheet (sample for clubs and events)
- Maintain USMS Gold Club Designation for at least five (5) years from the start of operations (not applicable for events not hosted by a USMS club)
- Follow the rules and policies of the facility
- Execute an agreement with the facility that is subject to USMS approval
- Pay all agreed-upon expenses to the facility when due
- Comply with all local, state, and federal laws for operations
- Obtain a Certificate of Insurance from Insurance Office of America
- Submit a Club Code of Conduct to USMS (sample here)
- Provide USMS a W-9 and Electronic Funds Transfer information
- Execute a Letter of Agreement with USMS (sample of club and event)
- Consulting and advice throughout the term of the agreement
- Connect club, coach, and event director with local resources, mentorship, officials, etc.
- Provide digital marketing support for the club or event during the grant period and on an ongoing basis as part of the USMS Gold Club
- If agreed upon by the parties, USMS will perform a stroke clinic that will be incorporated into the marketing to attract new swimmers
Evaluation and Execution
Grant applications will be reviewed by USMS club and coach or events departments and a recommendation for approval, modification, or denial will be presented to the USMS CEO. If approved, a formal Letter of Agreement will be executed between USMS and the grant recipient. The corresponding LMSC will be notified and asked to participate in the grant funding as described above. LMSC funds approved will be deducted from monthly membership fee revenue settlement once final grant amount is determined.