WFTDA "Lives Before Laces" COVID-19 Recovery Fund

“Getting Roller Derby Back on Track”

We put our community's lives first, now we want to help our community lace up again.

To help rebuild our community, we are establishing the WFTDA COVID-19 Recovery Fund, creating a network of fundraising to help us rebuild the sport of roller derby together.

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The Fund

The WFTDA COVID-19 Recovery Fund will offer microgrants between $250-$1,000 USD to our community members as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The microgrant program aims to provide relief to WFTDA community members in order to help them recover from COVID-19 impacts, including costs associated with:

  • Obtaining venue or practice space
  • Paying utilities or service agreements
  • Costs associated with hosting events
  • Costs of goods and services associated with operations

How to Apply

WFTDA COVID-19 Recovery Fund eligibility, application requirements, and application form can be found below.


In order to be eligible for the WFTDA COVID-19 Recovery Fund, you must:

  • Be an active member of the WFTDA, which includes being registered in our COVID-19 ladder, or;
    • Be a non-member club or team, such as JRDA or MRDA-affiliated league, in good standing with those organizations; or,
    • Be a nonprofit or charity organization actively working or partnering with the WFTDA;
  • Have a demonstrated commitment to Anti-Racism, equity,
  • Have a demonstrated COVID-19 recovery plan in line with WFTDA return-to-play requirements, assigned a Risk Coordinator, and reported tiers in the WFTDA member portal (WFTDA members);
  • Have the required federal, national, state/province, and local licenses and permits to legally operate in your area as a nonprofit or other charitable organization.

Program Priorities

Organizations that meet any of the above criteria are welcome to apply, and the WFTDA will prioritize distributing funds to organizations that:

  • Are a WFTDA member in good standing;
  • Prioritize Anti-Racism and equity programming and policy;
  • Have a majority BIPOC leadership and/or oversight OR are actively working to increase representation and diversity amongst members and leadership.

What You'll Need to Apply

Basic information about your organization, such as:

  • Name, type, and structure of organization (i.e. type of nonprofit or charity etc., based on your local/national context);
    • Note: For WFTDA member leagues, this information should already be confirmed when you were approved for membership.
    • For non-member leagues or if you are unsure about your status, you can provide information such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, or other documents to illustrate that you are representing a viable organization.
  • Annual budget or profit and loss statement for 2020 or 2021;
  • Documentation around the costs you’re looking to cover, including:
    • Invoices
    • Utility bills
    • Rental contracts
    • Receipts
  • Other documentation around your anti-racism work and COVID-19 recovery plans.

Application Deadlines and Fund Distribution Schedule

The WFTDA COVID-19 Recovery Fund will begin fundraising in July 2021 with the goal of initial disbursements beginning in September 2021, and distributing funds into December 2021.

All applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis, beginning August 1. Applications will be awarded based on funds available, eligibility and alignment with program priorities. The final round of applications will be reviewed December 1, 2021.

Apply Now


Can I apply as an individual?
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept applications from individuals.

Can we apply if we're an unaffiliated roller derby league?
The Lives Before Laces WFTDA COVID-19 Recovery Fund will prioritize WFTDA members, but will accept applications for and may fund non-member leagues who demonstrate a commitment to Anti-Racism and health equity in their COVID-19 measures.

Can I apply if we are a business that is not a league?
No. The WFTDA will not accept applications from businesses or trade associations.

Will WFTDA members be prioritized?
Yes. WFTDA members in good standing, who have met all criteria, will be prioritized.

What does “WFTDA member in good standing” mean?
WFTDA members who are following the return to play guidelines and are up-to-date on dues and any sanctioning fines. Voluntary Inactive Status is still considered in good standing and does not prevent a league from receiving funds.

What does “Have a demonstrated commitment to Anti-Racism and equity” and “Have a majority BIPOC leadership and/or oversight OR are actively working to increase representation and diversity amongst member- and leadership” mean?
We are looking for any documentation that supports your effort and work on diversity, anti-racism, equity, and leadership development within your organization. These can be specific policies you developed, or committees you have created to begin investigating or discussing harm and harm prevention. You will be able to upload files (can be pdfs, screenshots etc.) and describe your commitment during the application process.

Can we use the microgrant for WFTDA member dues?
You can, but we recommend that you use funds for non-WFTDA costs associated with restarting or sustaining your organization, as these will be prioritized in the application evaluation process. We've provided some member dues payment options to help leagues who may need more time to pay. Your league's finance contact should have received an email about this, and you can learn more in the skater rep community.

Why can't you just waive membership dues or use them for the fund?
Member League dues are still important for the WFTDA to continue recovery operations, including planning what the next season of competitive play looks like, helping members with safe return to play, and administering this recovery fund. The recovery fund will allow us to support more leagues in different ways than simply waiving their dues would.

Additionally, as an international membership organization serving over 450 member leagues in 33 countries across six continents, there are a variety of expenses necessary to running an organization of this size, and with competitive events on hold, membership dues are a primary source of income. However, membership dues for 2021 are not due until Nov. 30 (approximatley four months after the launch of the Recovery Fund), and we have provided an option for leagues who need more time that extends the deadline into 2022. Our goal is to begin distributing funds to approved applicants in September, providing more immediate relief to leagues who need it.

Will I get the full amount that I apply for?
The WFTDA will attempt to honor monetary requests whenever possible, and will make every effort to fulfill requests in full. Fund distribution will also rely on the amount we are able to collect through fundraising efforts, the number of applications received, and alignment with program priorities.

What if we need more than the maximum of $1000?
The WFTDA recognizes that leagues may need more than the maximum amount to pursue their recovery efforts. While we work to launch the program, we need to ensure that we can provide initial funding to as many leagues as possible. Should the WFTDA be able to provide additional support to leagues who already were provided grants, we will notify you.

Will you adapt to different currencies?
You should provide your financial need in your local currency so that WFTDA can provide you with a grant amount that is equal to that need. WFTDA will grant the equivalent of that amount with a minimum of $250 to a maximum of $1000 USD.

Our organization/group is NOT legally registered (not a non-profit organization, sports club etc.) - can we still apply?
If you are a member league, then this information is not required as we already confirmed it when you were approved for membership. You may be required to provide your most up-to-date information regarding your operations and internal agreements, as well as financial documents, reflecting how money is managed for your group. For other non-member organizations, please provide information such as articles of incorporation, bylaws or other documents to illustrate that you are representing a viable organization.

What if there is no money left in the month I apply?
The review committee will review all applications in a given review period and will allocate the funds available at that time based on the assessed need of the applications. If your application is approved but there is not enough money to provide you with a grant, the committee will move your application to the following review period and will grant your application a high priority status.

Do we need to fund-raise in order to get the microgrant?
You do not. But the more the community helps us to raise, the more we have available to help rebuild the community. Sharing or re-posting our materials is a great way to get folks outside of WFTDA roller derby to know about opportunities for supporting us, so every bit helps! We have a fundraiser for the Recovery Fund that you can share here, and you can find more ways to support the fund here.

What percentage of the fundraiser will go into the Recovery Fund?
At least 90% of the funds raised from the fundraiser will go into the Recovery Fund. There are related payment processing fees and WFTDA is reserving a 10% admin fee to cover costs like Paypal transfer fees, instead of passing those fees onto the leagues who need it most.