Register or Log in  
Welcome, guest: please register or log in to your account!About Projects Competitions People RSS

Game Changers

Sports Micro-Venture Fund

GAMECHANGERS | Sports Micro-Venture Fund

With $1/2M on the line, are you game?

No social network voting contests, no virtual farms to tend to, no magic codes to tweet - just funding directed where it is needed most, in supporting projects on the ground. Welcome to the GAMECHANGERS Sports Micro-Venture Fund.

The Fund is a partnership between Architecture for Humanity and Nike Inc. In the past 18 months the program has funded innovative projects in Afghanistan (Skate), Brazil (Football/Soccer), Kenya (Basketball) and the United States (American Football).

We are seeking proposals for the final round of funding to support the construction of sports facilities offering programs that tackle social issues in the community. This Request for Proposal (RFP) process will award up to $500,000 in funds and is directed toward micro-interventions with a construction time line of 6 to 9 months. The majority of these grants will be $25,000 for building or upgrading facilities and completing existing projects. 10% of the funding will be earmarked for the professional design services and engineering.

At the discretion of the funding team a small number of selected proposals will be awarded additional funds based on need and scope of impact.

If you hate reading all that verbage, here is breakdown of available funds:
• Africa - 2 x $25,000
• the Americas - 2 x $25,000
• Asia - 2 x $25,000
• Europe - 2 x $25,000
• Oceania - 2 x $25,000
plus up to $250,000 in additional funding.

If you're game, apply today.

The Deal
Who is eligible?
This Request for Proposal (RFP) is open to locally-based organizations that empower the community through sports as a mechanism to spur social change and/or economic development. Projects can be anywhere in the world. They may have singular goals or multiple functions. They should address one or more of the following key areas:
• Improved access to opportunities to participate in sport
• Removal of physical, economic, social and gender barriers to participation in sport
• Improved social cohesion
• Improved physical activity
• Provides innovative alternatives to play spaces for communities that lack resources
• Positively affects the environment or reduces negative environmental impact of sport-related initiatives
• Generates opportunities for social and economic empowerment

How many projects will get chosen?
This is a global fund and we are looking to support a minimum of two projects from each of the five global regions: Africa; the Americas; Asia; Europe; and Oceania. Additionally we may award separate funds to additional projects or increase funds for selected projects that deem further investment. This fund will cap at $500,000

What are the ground rules?
To apply you must:
• Tackle at least one of the key areas listed above.
• Have a commitment from an architect or building professional involved or be willing to have one appointed to the project. Exactly 10% of the grant will be allocated for design and engineering services.
• Own the land or have long term lease on the property in question.
• Have operational funds for a minimum of five years or have developed economic models of support for the expansion of your facility.
• Be nice. We believe in fair play and we will reward organizations that have gone out of their way to do the right thing. Meanies and cheaters never win.

The jury
A select group of stakeholders, existing grant recipients and former pro athletes.

The timeline
Submission Period August 4th - October 29th 2010
Grants Announced: December 2010
Funding distribution: January 2011
Project completion: July to September 2011

Architecture for Humanity and Nike Inc’s Social Innovations established a revolving grants program that has funded the design and construction of innovative, sustainable and safe places to play. The goal was to provide capital to implement these structures in communities that are typically overlooked.

Ownership + Copyright
By entering the GAMECHANGERS RFP process, entrants agree to a) post entry materials on the GAMECHANGERS website and to the Terms of Use of the GAMECHANGERS site; b) to allow Architecture for Humanity to license all design solutions under the Creative Commons licensing and to adhere to the terms of the selected license.

The selected design team will own all design concepts, drawings, images, renderings, sketches, photographs, models, and/or text, documents, information or other materials submitted in association with this initiative. However, the recipient and selected team hereby grants Architecture for Humanity and its designees perpetual, free, unrestricted use of the submission materials in fulfillment of its charitable purposes, including its annual report, its websites and in communications with volunteers, funders and the media and all other purposes specified in these Rules. Such use is expressly not directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation.

Notwithstanding Architecture for Humanity’s rights as a Licensor, competition entrants shall retain full rights to use the documents in other projects for commercial and for-profit purposes.

By entering this competition entrants warrant that all materials submitted by them are their own, that nothing in the submission of these materials will infringe the copyright or any other right of any person and that they have full authority to submit the materials for such purposes.

Exhibition + Publication
The organizers will exhibit selected entries to GAMECHANGERS during and after the RFP period. The results of the competition may be presented online, in galleries or other venues, or in a printed publication and all entries will be available to be viewed on the Open Architecture Network. Selected and Finalist entrants may be asked to build scale models representing their design and provide printed presentation boards for exhibition purposes.

In any exhibition, publication, or website, the organizers will make every effort to properly credit the team. Architecture for Humanity and its designees reserve the right to utilize materials submitted by entrants in any publication or promotional endeavor in perpetuity and free of charge (See "Ownership and Copyright").

Prizes + Awards
The jury reserves the right to select as many grantees and distribute the available funds as they deem worthy. Each award will be made to the organization listed in the proposal.

In accepting the award, the entrant agrees to the commitments and obligations of the Finalists. Entrants selected as Finalists will be required to enter into a contract with Architecture for Humanity to further develop and implement their design and to sign a release in order to receive prize monies. Architecture for Humanity reserves the right to implement the winning design concept with or without the involvement of the entrant, but will make all reasonable efforts to include the entrant in the implementation of the design.

Architecture for Humanity will make every reasonable effort to contact the winning entrant and notify the entrant of the award. In the event the winner chooses not to accept the prize, cannot be contacted for any reason, or fails to respond to repeated notification attempts and/or emails within 14 days, the prize money will be forfeited. In such an event, Architecture for Humanity may, but is not obligated to, award the prize monies to another entry in its sole discretion.

No substitution or transfer of prize monies will be allowed. Architecture for Humanity reserves the right not to award all prize monies in the event competition administrators receive an insufficient number of eligible entries that meet the minimum criteria as set forth as part of the competition guidelines.

The jury has the sole authority and responsibility to recommend winners at the end of the RFP periods. The organizers reserve the right to make a final decision regarding the winning scheme and any funding that may be made available for the development or implementation of designs entered into the competition. The competition administrators decisions in connection with all matters concerning the competition shall be final and binding.

Limitation of Liability
By entering the RFP, all entrants and team members agree to indemnify, defend and hold Architect for Humanity including its chartered units, and its governors, directors, officers, employees, agents, partners, funders, sponsors and volunteers from and against any and all suits, claims, demands, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses (reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising out of or relating in any way to services it provides in connection with this agreement.

If you have any questions about the rules stipulated above, please do not hesitate to contact the competition administrators.

Commitments + Obligations
The goal of GAMECHANGERS is to improve lives. In order to implement the winning designs, we rely on the commitment and support of the entrants. Design teams selected as finalists must be willing to commit time and energy in partnership with Architecture for Humanity to develop--and ultimately build--their design.

We recognize that this may take you away from other work. To support designers on-going involvement, if your design is selected for implementation you will receive a stipend, which is intended to cover out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the project. In exchange, you will gain the experience of work alongside a community partner to realize your design. There is no more meaningful work.

Entrants must be willing to agree to the commitments and obligations described below in order to receive prize monies and be acknowledged as a finalist of the design competition.
• to create a physical model and print presentation boards to be used for exhibition purposes;
• to enter into a commercially reasonable contract with Architecture for Humanity • to develop the selected design;
• to engage community members and other beneficiaries of the technology center in the design process;
• to make himself or herself available for a site visits to ensure the integrity of their design and support the construction of the facility;
• to work with a licensed site architect, if necessary;
• to ensure the use of local materials and local labor whenever practicable;
• to promote sustainable and environmental practices.

We hope your design is selected, and we look forward to working with you.

GAMECHANGERS | what’s this all about

Architecture for Humanity and Nike Inc’s Social Innovations established a revolving grants program that has funded the design and construction of innovative, sustainable and safe places to play. The goal was to provide capital to implement these structures in communities that are typically overlooked.
Projects may be in located in rural, semi-rural or urban areas; they may have singular goals or have multiple functions, but should address one or more of the following key areas:
• Improved access to opportunities to participate in sport
• Removal of physical, economic, social and gender barriers to participation in sport
• Improved social cohesion
• Improved physical activity
• Provides innovative alternatives to play spaces for communities that lack resources
• Positively affects the environment or reduces negative environmental impact of sport-related initiatives
• Opportunities for social and economic empowerment generated by the project

The goal of the program is to support the design and construction of innovative facilities through a matching grant fund.
Examples include:
• a sports center for the empowerment of girls and women by erasing stereotypes
• a sports program that preserves land and creates "safe spaces"
• a combination of sports and education to empower youth-led movements
If selected, the local organization will work with Architecture for Humanity to utilize a matching grant fund established by Nike Inc. Additionally Architecture for Humanity will match the Community Partner with a professional design team to develop and refine their proposed facility. This fund will provide access to funding towards the cost of construction of the proposed project. Architecture for Humanity will provide construction oversight and will manage the funds during construction.

GAMECHANGERS | Previous Grant Recipients

IN 2009 we received GAMECHANGERS proposals from 35 countries: 24 from the United States, 13 from South Africa, 7 from Kenya; and 6 based in India.

Many program proposals are related to football, basketball, and general fitness, but other sports include skateboarding, sailing, Capoeira, break dancing, Parkour, golf, and track and field. The facilities proposed range from stadiums, to community centers, to skate parks, to boathouses. The programs use sports to support a wide range of other services, mostly for youth, but sometimes for homeless adults or disabled persons.

Non-awarded projects are all eligible for final round funding.


Skateistan Indoor Skate Facility
Skateistan is Afghanistan’s first co-educational skateboarding school. Skateistan works with young boys and girls between 5 - 17 years from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. With funding assistance from a range of funding sources, Skateistan is undertaking the construction of Kabul’s first indoor skate park at Ghazi Stadium.
Status: completed December 2009

Mahiga High Rainwater Court
The Mahiga High Rainwater Court in rural Kenya is the latest recipient of GAMECHANGERS funding. Architecture For Humanity Design Fellow Greg Elsner is working with The Nobelity Project and the St. Joseph Mahiga Hope School to design and build a full-court basketball court with an integrated rainwater collection and UV purification system.
Status: completed fall 2010

Women and Youth Empowerment Center, Santa Cruz, Brazil
With the Homeless Women's World Cup arriving in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in fall 2010, Architecture for Humanity, Homeless World Cup, and Nike teamed up with local partners Organização Civil de Ação Social (OCAS), and Bola Pra Frente (BPF) to establish permanent Legacy Centers . The Homeless World Cup will establish specific programs for homeless women using football and social enterprise, enabling them to be the drivers behind their own social and economical development and in turn extend their knowledge with the same positive team attitude and leadership skills football brings forth.
Status: in construction documentation, to be completed Fall 2010

Competition Details

  • Name: Game Changers
  • Host: Architecture for Humanity
  • Type: Public
  • Registration Deadline: none
  • Submission Deadline: October 29, 2010
  • Entry Fee: $$0.00
  • Award: $500,000 in available grants
  • Status: Open

About Our Partners


Architecture for Humanity is a charitable organization that seeks architectural solutions to humanitarian crisis and brings design services to communities in need. We believe that where resources and expertise are scarce, innovative, sustainable and collaborative design can make a difference.


Nike Inc (pronounced 'nye-kee') is a major publicly traded sportswear and equipment supplier based in the United States. The company is headquartered near Beaverton, Oregon, which is part of the Portland metropolitan area.