Creating a pathway to the future of the sport.
Founded in 2019 with the mission of building a better future for cycling and cyclists, the Rapha Foundation now funds more than ten organisations around the world committed to inspiring, empowering and supporting the next generation of riders and racers from under-represented communities in the sport.
The organisation invests $1.5 million a year in grassroots activities and in February 2021, announced a new Australia-based group would be added to the list of recipients. Starting this year, the Foundation will support grassroots organisation Ride Nation who will be joining a growing community of grantees worldwide.
Keeping up to date with the progress made following our donations, we discover how our grantees have developed with the support of the Rapha Foundation.
DETROIT FITNESS FOUNDATION
“The Foundation has opened up opportunities for me that I otherwise might not have had, such as preparing for and competing in a pro race at the Lexus Velodrome…My goal for cycling in the year ahead is to go to Junior Track Nationals and get top 3 in my age category.“
⁃ Donnell Anderson, 14
“My favourite moment on the bike is when I got to race pro at the Lexus Velodrome. The track helps me a lot, and I thank the track for that. It keeps us juniors going hard to chase our dreams. It’s nice to be able to race in Detroit.”
- Dejon Parks, 16
HERNE HILL VELODROME TRUST
THE YEAR AHEAD
Over the past year, the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust have been busy overseeing an extensive renovation of the cycling track, acquiring 38 track bikes and 35 learn to ride bikes, and have appointed Thea Smith as their new Youth Development Officer. This year, the trust hopes to achieve even more as lockdown restrictions begin to ease up and riders are free to return to the track. Their plans include:
- Significant investment in their off-road and MTB area, which will help improve drainage and reinforce trails to encourage more riders to get involved.
- Acquiring new mountain bikes to open the site up to a wider community of current and prospective cyclists.
- Ramping up their outreach in the local community, working to improve awareness around the velodrome and the benefits of cycling more generally.
- Working with local photographers to create imagery to adorn the velodrome’s 150 meter-long entranceway, showcasing the range of activities available there.
TOP CYCLIST ACADEMY
We are proud to be supporting Top Cyclist Academy, The Rapha Foundation’s newest grantee, whose mission is to develop young cyclists to compete at the highest level of the sport. Their qualified coaches have developed an off-road programme to help students develop the physical strength and technical skills required to be a professional cyclist in a fun and safe environment.
The organisation’s school programs break down barriers to provide cycle training to underserved students. The funding, provided by the Rapha Foundation, will enable the charity to implement 30 donated bike libraries giving young people much-needed access to bicycles.
NICA builds strong minds, bodies and communities through cycling. With support from Rapha in 2019, the association’s GRiT (Girls Riding Together) program has accomplished an incredible amount to engage women in cycling with 52 coordinators in 31 leagues around the country supported by Libba Moravac, their full-time GRiT Program Manager.
MAJOR TAYLOR PROJECT
Founded upon the idea that our lives and communities can be made better by cycling, Cascade is the largest cycling organisation in Washington state. Named after Marshall Taylor, the first African-American to win a world title, the club’s internationally-renowned Major Taylor Project improves access of minority ethnic communities to cycling resources.
CYCLE KIDS, INC.
Serving schools in over seven states, CYCLE Kids helps children gain confidence, strengthen their academic focus and develop a passion for cycling. In the past 16 years, the programme has reached over 30,000 children, many in underrepresented, vulnerable, and racially diverse communities.
DETROIT FITNESS FOUNDATION
Open on all but three days of the year, DFF provides free cycling facilities and programs to under-served communities in Detroit. The organisation's summer camps at the city’s Lexus velodrome – one of only two such facilities in the US – have enrolled over 500 children, with some progressing DFF’s Elite Junior Team, and competing at the 2019 Junior National Championships.
A development team with a difference, Hot Tubes has helped 120 young, elite-level athletes develop since 1991. Over twenty alumni have competed professionally but the programme is about more than racing bikes, with equal focus on the key elements of character that underpin personal and athletic success.
The Helen100 foundation was created to provide opportunities for young women in cyclocross. In 2019, Helen Wyman appealed to young riders, teams, coaches and parents to come together on social media and together they removed a financial barrier that had kept 140 young riders from racing.
Formerly known as the Dave Rayner Fund, this foundation was set up in 1995 to support young cyclists at the beginning of their careers. Former beneficiaires include many of Britain’s best-known cyclists such as Adam Yates, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Hannah Barnes and Dan Mclay.
THE CYCLISTS' ALLIANCE
Established by former pro cyclists Iris Slappendel, Carmen Small and Gracie Elvin to protect the interests of female professionals, the Cyclists’ Alliance is based in the Netherlands and lobbies for fairness and equality in the sport as well as better support for riders once they finish their careers.
HERNE HILL VELODROME TRUST
South London’s historic Herne Hill Velodrome has served the local community since 1891 and featured as a venue in the 1948 Olympic Games. This trust is the charity that manages the running of a site that hosts countless off-road and track events every year for thousands of local cyclists.
MUDFUND AT USA CYCLING FOUNDATION
The USA Cycling Foundation’s mission is to assist USA Cycling in its efforts to create and implement consistent, sustained development programs for young American bike racers. The MudFund specifically supports cyclocross programming and was the dedicated fund for the grant.
Since 2004, the Star Track has aspired to improve the lives of New York City children by introducing them to the joys and benefits of track cycling. Most of Star Track participants come from the Outer Boroughs of New York and under-resourced areas of Queens and Brooklyn.
AMY D FOUNDATION
The Amy D. Foundation encourages and supports young women in cycling by inspiring the celebration of healthy challenges and empowering the confident pursuit of lofty dreams. Founded in 2003, the programming works to build participation, opportunity, and equality in the sport.
BOULDER JUNIOR CYCLING
The Boulder Junior Cycling (BJC) is a year-round youth cycling program in Boulder, Colorado. Their mission is to develop, coach and inspire junior cyclists aged 8-18 in a range of disciplines. Founded in 2006, BJC has grown into one of the largest and most successful junior cycling teams in the country.
ABOUT THE RAPHA FOUNDATION
Rapha was established in 2004 to celebrate and promote cycling. Initially we did this by producing high quality road cycling clothing showcased in inspiring photography and stories. Since then, the company has expanded into many more product categories and established a thriving global community of cyclists. Rapha is fiercely ambitious about cycling, and we strive to see it become the most popular sport in the world.
At the start of 2018, Rapha published the Roadmap following a two-year research project that investigated how the 'shop window' of cycling – that is, the professional sport – could be made more exciting and more valuable. The recommendations in the Roadmap guide all of Rapha's investments, starting with a new approach to team sponsorship and leading to the launch of our charitable foundation focused on the grassroots of the sport.
MORE INFORMATION ON FUNDING
Mission-aligned institutions – Applicants must be able to demonstrate their alignment with the mission and vision of the Rapha Foundation, as well as their broader commitment to advancing cycling within their work.
Registered charities –US-based applicants must be Section 501(c)(3) public charities. Non-US organizations may apply as a project of a US-based fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3) public charity, or a non-US organization that is the equivalent of a US 501(c)(3) public charity.
We do not fund
Individuals – The foundation is unable to make grants directly to individuals.
Unsolicited proposals - Staff strive to identify mission-aligned organizations, and thus do not accept unsolicited proposals. However, if you would like to nominate an organization you believe is a fit or if you are an organization that would like to get on our radar and have mission alignment, please complete the following form.
Where we fund
Acknowledging the global footprint of cycling, the Rapha Foundation will support eligible charitable organizations based in and supporting communities in Asia/Pacific, the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.
How to apply
The Rapha Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. Staff strive to identify mission-aligned organizations, and thus do not accept unsolicited proposals.
However, if you would like to nominate an organization you believe is a fit or if you are an organization that would like to get on our radar and have mission alignment, please complete this form.
Invited applicants will be asked to submit a proposal for funding of up to three years, with a maximum total request of $150,000.
The Rapha Foundation is a donor advised fund at an independent US-based charitable organization. All grants are subject to the organization’s grantmaking guidelines and US rules and regulations for charitable donations (which apply to both domestic and international organizations.
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