U.S. Masters Swimming's Board of Directors has approved up to $250,000 in matching grant funds that LMSCs may use to support local clubs’ efforts to restart Masters programs when safe and appropriate. LMSCs are asked to consider creating a relief fund to provide grants to clubs in their LMSC to make use of the matching grants from USMS.  

Please review the USMS COVID-19 Relief Program's matching grant framework for clubs and discuss the best approach within your LMSC. Each LMSC will have a grant pool available per club based on USMS members in those clubs as of May 31, 2020. The framework ensures that LMSCs and clubs will have access to matching funds through the end of 2020 so that LMSCs may implement a grant program at the right time for their clubs without risk of funds running out. Funds provided under this program are meant to help clubs get restarted, but it’s recognized they’re unlikely to meet all needs. Clubs with greater needs should look to their members and local communities for additional assistance. 

Based on surveys, conversations, and direct input from clubs and coaches, there are financial needs that USMS and the LMSCs can and should help clubs overcome to get restarted. These efforts in turn support the desire of USMS members to return to their swimming routine.

Giving back to the clubs, which are the primary driver of USMS membership, is an important component in the overall strategy to address challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. USMS has both healthy reserves nationally as do most LMSCs. LMSCs will also have additional funds available with the move to a virtual USMS annual meeting in 2020.

Given the local nature of official health guidance, social distancing, each LMSC’s knowledge, and approaches to reopening business, fitness, and social activity, the granting of funds will be best administered by you, with flexibility to determine the right approach and investment for your LMSC. 

A relief funding panel has been formed to address questions, approve LMSC funding plans, and distribute funds to LMSCs. The matching grant framework outlines the grant funding and process for LMSCs to gain approval of the use of matching funds. Board members Teddy Decker, Carrie Stolar, and Jeff Moxie, along with COO Bill Brenner and CFO Susan Kuhlman, will begin reviewing and approving LMSC relief funding grant programs beginning July 13, 2020. LMSCs can expect a response to their submitted plans within three business days. 

Submit Your LMSC Grant Plan Application

We look forward to working with you in the coming months to address needs in your LMSC, successfully support USMS clubs, and get members back in the water. 

Webinar: Relief Program for Clubs

On Wednesday, July 8, 2020 we hosted a webinar about the Relief Program for Clubs. Relief funding panel members, Teddy Decker, Jeff Moxie, COO Bill Brenner, CFO Susan Kuhlman, along with CEO Dawson Hughes provided a brief overview of the program and addressed questions. Missed the discussion topic? You can access the Zoom video recording and the questions asked and answered during the webinar. If you have any questions, please contact Volunteer Services.  

Sample Relief Program Grant Application for Clubs

USMS has worked with its Board of Directors, LMSCs, clubs, and National Office staff to develop a framework that may provide USMS clubs and workout groups with grant money to help resume operations as quickly as appropriate in their area, based on local, state, and federal guidelines. The money will be available from two sources: LMSC grant funding and USMS matching grants.  

LMSCs will determine if they need to offer grant funding, and USMS will provide matching grants, based on certain criteria to those LMSCs that offer it. These funds are to support clubs with financial needs to restart Masters programming.

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. 

USMS and LMSC COVID-19 Relief Program for Clubs FAQs 

Here are some frequently asked questions. This will be updated as needed.
Q: Which LMSCs are offering relief funding?

Each LMSC decides if it wants to offer relief funding. If your club is in an LMSC that is offering relief funding, you will be eligible to receive the matching grant from USMS as well.

Here is a list of LMSCs who are offering relief funding as of November 19, 2020:

  • Adirondack
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware Valley
  • Gulf
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Lake Erie
  • Maryland
  • Metropolitan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New England
  • New Mexico
  • Niagara
  • North Texas
  • Oregon
  • Pacific
  • Pacific Northwest
  • Potomac Valley
  • South Texas
  • Southern Pacific
  • Wisconsin

Contact your LMSC Chair for more information on relief funding. Your Chair’s email address can be found here.

Q: Which types of clubs are eligible to receive matching grant funding?
All USMS-registered local clubs and workout groups as of June 1, 2020, are eligible to receive funding. Regional clubs are not eligible. Each local club and workout group must have a Federal Tax ID #. Funds will not be distributed to individuals.
Q: When is the deadline for clubs and workout groups to submit an application?
Terms and timelines will be determined by individual LMSCs, but USMS will accept LMSC requests for matching funds until Dec. 1, 2020.
Q: Does it matter when our application is submitted?
Each LMSC may have different policies, so it is recommended that you contact your LMSC leadership. The matching funding strategy is designed so that funds are available on a per club basis as long as the request is submitted by the LMSC by Dec. 1, 2020.
Q: Do programs have to apply for federal grants and government assistance to be eligible?

No, however, it is strongly encouraged.

Q: Is there a maximum amount of funding that each club or workout group may apply for?
Each LMSC may determine its own club-funding model. However, USMS will only match funds based on the per registered member rates outlined in the USMS COVID-19 Relief Program for clubs framework.
Q: Why are LMSCs that adopted the unified fee for 2020 receiving a higher matching grant from USMS?
USMS is encouraging all LMSCs to utilize funds set aside for USMS annual meeting expenses to support their grant efforts. As such, at the national level, USMS is reserving funds previously allocated for annual meeting hotel accommodations through the Unified Membership Fee strategy to support a higher matching amount for those LMSCs that adopted this strategy early.  
Q: How will LMSCs be reimbursed by USMS for the matching grant funds

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)