USMS has worked with its board, clubs, LMSCs, and staff to develop a framework that may provide USMS clubs (as defined in Note #8 below) with grant money to help resume operations as quickly as appropriate in their area, based on local, state and federal guidelines. LMSCs will determine the best approach to providing grants in their region, based on the framework below. USMS will match LMSC funding as outlined below. LMSCs are encouraged to keep the grant program simple to ensure timely distribution of funds so clubs may address needs to restart programming rapidly. 
We ask for clubs that aren’t in need, to not apply for grants. This will ensure USMS and its LMSCs can deliver support where needed most. Funds provided under this program are meant to help clubs get restarted but it is recognized they are unlikely to meet all needs. Clubs with greater needs should look to their members and local communities for additional assistance.


Provide financial support for USMS clubs that need additional funds to accommodate social distancing guidelines. Provide financial support to keep USMS clubs solvent and operating to accept returning and new members into their programs

Grant Framework:

Available to registered USMS Local Clubs and Workout Groups:

  1. Clubs apply for funding through the LMSC and provide supporting statements. (We have put together a sample grant application for clubs, which includes contact information, written statements, and documentation, as well as a completed W-9 form for your club. Grant applications should be submitted directly to your LMSC board on or before Dec. 1, 2020.)
  2. Each LMSC should set up a timetable for applications. However, all applications must be submitted to USMS by December 31, 2020 in order to receive USMS matching grants.
  3. Each LMSC can come up with their own club funding model. (For simplicity, each LMSC could assign a dollar amount to each registered USMS member of a club).
  4. USMS will match LMSC funds up to $5 per registered USMS member per USMS registered club and up to $8 per registered USMS member per USMS registered Gold Club.
  5. For LMSCs that adopted the unified fee in 2020, USMS will match LMSC funds up to $6 per registered USMS member per club and up to $10 per registered USMS member per USMS registered Gold Club.
  6. Relief should be based on short-term needs or hardships, related to COVID-19 and new social distancing guidelines and requirements, related to COVID-19 and new social distancing guidelines and requirements, in order to re-start Masters programming, for example:
  • A shortfall in reserves and cash flow due to loss of revenue for recurring monthly expenses including coaches pay and administrative expenses. Inability to pay coaches, due to loss in revenue.
  • Need additional lane space to accommodate swimmers due to social distancing guidelines.
  • Need to rent space at an alternative facility due to longer-term closure of current pool (e.g. many high school and college facilities are closed until at least the fall).
  • Need funds to cover additional hours for coaches to be on deck due to social distancing guidelines.
  • Need funds to cover costs associated with requisite facility lifeguards due to social distancing guidelines.
  • Need funding to cover additional insurance requirements required by the facility. 

Steps to secure and distribute USMS matching funds:

  1. Develop LMSC framework for club grants
  2. Submit Matching Grant Application to the Relief Funding Panel
  3. Matching grant will be reviewed within 3 business days
  4. Once approved, accept grant funding applications from clubs
  5. Distribute funds, including matching amount, to approved clubs
  6. Submit Matching Grant Reimbursement Form
  7. Funds will be distributed to LMSC through EFT on the 15th of the month following a submitted reimbursement form (e.g. all reimbursements submitted by August 31 will be disbursed on Sept 15)


  1. USMS has created a panel consisting of Board Members Teddy Decker, Jeff Moxie, Carrie Stolar, COO Bill Brenner and CFO Susan Kuhlman. This group will review and approve LMSC grant programs to ensure eligibility for matching funds.  Questions should be directed to Volunteer Services. LMSCs may apply through the LMSC Grant Application Form.
  2. A sample template for a Club Grant application, which should be submitted along with a completed W-9 for clubs, has been created and USMS will share best practices from those LMSCS that move qickly to establish their funding programs. 
  3. Clubs that commit to becoming a Gold Club by October 31, 2020, will be marked as such on Club Finder. If the club submits their application to the LMSC noting they are a Gold Club, USMS matching funds will be available, pending approval by the USMS Board COVID-19 relief funding panel. Please contact Club and Coach Services to learn how clubs can become a Gold Club.
  4. LMSCs must submit grant funding plans to the USMS Board COVID-19 relief funding panel for approval.  The panel will responsed within 3 business days.
  5. LMSC should establish minimum level of reserves and not use reserves beyond that floor. Recommended floor is half of annual operating expenses (i.e. 6 months of reserves).
  6. For LMSC grant funding, the per member per club dollar amount is the recommended way to forecast the potential pool of relief funding.
  7. Gold Club and registered Masters club status will be based on the number of registered USMS members in the USMS database as of May 31, 2020. 
  8. *Only those local clubs and workout groups that are registered for 2020 in the USMS registration system will be considered for USMS matching grants. Only those clubs identified with Gold status, or those that make a commitment per note #3, will be considered for the higher matching grant amounts. Workout groups are considered clubs. Clubs and workout groups must have a physical location that hosts masters programming to be eligible.
  9. Only clubs with a valid business Tax ID will be eligible.
  10. Clubs are encouraged to also apply for federal, state and local grants and government assistance.

USMS Fundraising:

USMS has put a pause on USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation fundraising. From May 26, 2020 onward all fundraising efforts will be focused on supporting the USMS COVID-19 Relief Program's matching grant. This will include the donation options during registration, proceeds and donations from the 2020 Summer Fitness Challenge and 2020 Virtual Championship Meet and the SSLF Board of Trustees auction planned for late summer.  Fundraising dollars, along with dollars from reserves, will be used to fund the grant program. We will continue to evaluate when we will make the switch back to SSLF again.