Sport for Development Innovation Fund

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Calls for Proposals



Over the past 20 years, sport for development projects have flourished all around the world. However, whilst the use of sport as a tool for social change is often seen as a relatively new innovation in itself and only partially understood by the wider development sector, most funders still place emphasis on proven interventions that follow a number of similar models, thus not allowing for creative and innovative solutions to the most challenging issues that our world faces


To address this issue and drive ongoing invention and improvement, The SOL Foundation and Laureus Sport for Good have partnered to create Sport for Development’s first ‘Innovation Fund’ – designed to identify the most innovative work in the sector and allow it to flourish. The Innovation Fund will support truly innovative work and solutions at a stage before traditional funders would be able to justify involvement – i.e. before impact of the given initiative has been proven.

We will provide a number of smaller grants to the most innovative work in the sector, and its champions will be able to utilise this funding to prove their innovative ideas and secure larger-scale or continuous funding from more traditional sources.


Innovation in the development sector is based on translating ideas or inventions into goods or services to create a positive impact in the communities in which they are delivered. Innovative ideas should be different from past endeavours and uncover new territories and new ways of thinking about sport for development, thus challenging the traditional ways of doing development. Employing well known ways of working in unknown settings is not seen as innovation.

Innovation involves a high amount of risk and uncertainty. Perhaps even more than 90% of investments in Innovation are not likely going to result in any significant steps forward for the Sport for Development sector. Still, it is only by supporting Innovation that we identify the ideas from where we create the future of the sector.


1. The applicant must be legally registered under national law and must have the necessary registration to receive funding from Laureus Sport for Good in the UK.

2. If working with children and under-aged boys and girls, the applicant must have a child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures in place.

3. The applicant must employ a sport for development approach, ideally to address issues related to Health, Education, Women & Girls, Employability, Social Inclusion, or Peacebuilding.

4. The proposed activity should integrate an equality perspective (gender, disability, ethnicity, etc) when appropriate, although the project does not have to be focused on equality.

5. Applicants must address issues affecting the most vulnerable and disempowered parts of the population, and with a focus on children and youth.


If interested in applying for the Innovation Fund, please fill in the application form below.  

If you are already receiving funding from Laureus Sport for Good, please get in touch with your grant manager who will be able to send you your personal link. Do not use the general application form.

The application form asks you to provide details on your organisation, your child protection procedures, your organisation’s finances, the need for the particular innovation, what this entails and how you would bring it to scale after the grant has ended. Finally, we would like you to consider who this innovation will impact (beneficiaries) and provide a breakdown of the funding you are requesting from the Innovation Fund.



The Innovation Fund has been developed as an annual support programme for early stages of innovation in Sport for Development with the approach to allocate a few grants each within a reasonable range to kick-start processes including a proactive reporting. To be part of the initial 2018/2019 cycle your application must be submitted by 31 May 2018.

Proposals should be submitted according to the instructions given on this webpage, and using the online application form.

For more information: If you are a current Laureus grantee, please contact your grant manager at Laureus. If you are new to Laureus, please contact Director of Programmes and Grants,
Dr Morten Schmidt:

We look forward to hearing from you!

Laureus Sport for Good and SOL Foundation


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Project data

  • Sport for Development Innovation Fund
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