The Nittany Valley Running Club over the years has distributed small grants to local programs that promote running and that are managed independently of the NVRC. The running programs that have been sponsored have generally been ones that help develop young runners, and our sponsorship of them helps fulfill the Club's mission. In addition, the NVRC has occasionally given grants to support exceptional young runners who are competing in regional and national competitions. And the NVRC directs or consults in numerous races run or charitable causes, and occasionally makes contributions to running teams that support these causes. Our sponsorship was, until a few years ago, on an ad hoc basis.
In May of 2006 the Club approved a formal policy for an NVRC Sponsorship Grant Program. This program was a means for the Club to support local running programs through our small annual surplus. The sponsorship grant program was not limited to youth running programs. The NVRC decided to formalize the program in order to make sure the process is fair and equitable. In 2010, the formal program was updated It includes a mechanism for exceptional runners to apply for grants to help defray expenses related to travel to important competitions.It also spells out the Club's policy toward donations toward charitable causes in general.
NVRC Grants and Sponsorships Policy
- General Statement. The NVRC has a long history in supporting training and competition, particularly for youth, with grants. Our mission statement is "The purpose of the Nittany Valley Running Club is to establish a sound, continuing program of youth and adult fitness, to promote development and competition for all age groups, and to conscientiously prepare athletes for competition."
- Training Programs. Grants to training programs are given with preference to programs or organizations that fulfill a need not addressed by other means. For example, most local school districts have running programs for high school students. Therefore, a proposal to aid in coaching or training high school students would be less likely to be given a sponsorship grant.
- The program seeking the grant must be a not-for-profit organization but need not have formal federal status. It must have its own federal EIN number and bank account in its own name.
- All members of the organization shall reside in Centre County.
- Grants must be used for equipment, travel, and competition fees but not for stipends for coaches.
- Organizations must be open to all age-eligible members. In particular, no "elite only" organizations, in particular those restricted by religious affiliation or athletic ability, will be funded.
- Money unused by the organization shall be returned to the Club.
- Grants, awarded for one year, are not automatically renewed.
- The funded organization shall assume all legal liabilities. The event insurance held by the NVRC is not extended to funded organizations as part of their grant.
- The application shall include the name and contact information for the requesting officer, amount requested, estimate of planned use of the money (e.g. uniforms, facility rental, meet expenses, equipment, etc.), planned events (e.g. workouts, meets, etc.), and age or other requirements for participation.
- Sponsored programs shall submit a report to the NVRC by the end of their granting period, to include number of participants, events or meets participated in, awards won by participants, and an accounting of use of the grant money. Receipts are not necessary.
- USATF Sponsorship. The NVRC is a club member of USATF. Individuals and teams are encouraged to enter competitions under the banner of the NVRC. Needless to say, they should be up-to-date members of the NVRC.
- Competition Sponsorship and Recognition. Individuals or teams of any age may apply for funds to compete at regional and national competitions sponsored by recognized organizations such as USATF, AAU, and RRCA. Applications may be submitted before or after the competition and should include a narrative and a detailed budget or list of expenses. The NVRC will consider funding for travel, competition fees, and hotel for the athlete and, in the case of high school or younger athlete, one accompanying coach or parent. The NVRC may also choose to recognize competing athletes with honorary cash awards without an application process.
- Other Grants. The NVRC supports charitable organizations with thousands of dollars in donations from proceeds of its Club races. It offers logistical support, primarily through timing, to other area races that support charitable causes. In addition, the NVRC may offer grants directly to nonprofit or charitable organizations, usually in conjunction with NVRC-affiliated teams competing in particular races. Such funds go to the nonprofit or charitable organization and not to the team.
- Indoor Track Competitions. The NVRC sponsors indoor track competitions at the mile and other distances at the beginning of some of Penn State's meets on the Horace Ashenfelter Track at the Multi-Sports Facility. We provide monetary compensation to Penn State for these competitions. Runners compete at no charge provided they are members of the NVRC.
- Submissions and Decisions. Applications may be submitted to the NVRC at its mailing address or as an email attachment sent to any officer. The Board of Officers makes decisions on grants based on adherence to guidelines, perceived need, and worthiness relative to other received applications. Monetary awards depend on availability of discretionary funds.