Kids Afloat Program Guidelines
~ Currently No Longer Accepting Applications At This Time ~

The BoatUS Foundation Kids Afloat Program gives a limited number of organizations an opportunity to purchase kid-sized Type II and Type III life jackets at a discounted rate of $5 per jacket (retail of about $30) to be used in their kids on-the water education programs.

How it works: Applicants must complete and submit an application by this date to be considered for the program. The Foundation is looking for nonprofit organizations that provide kids with on-the-water education programs. Preference will be given to established organizations that will use the life jackets immediately and will continue to use them on a regular basis. The best applications submitted will be posted for public voting in the Spring of 2014. Applicants will have several weeks to promote their organization’s application and encourage others to vote. After voting concludes, the organizations with the most votes will be notified by Foundation staff that they are eligible to purchase the life jackets. Once notified, organizations will need to mail a check for the life jackets to the Foundation before life jackets will be sent.

Eligibility: The Kids Afloat Program is for nonprofit organizations that provide on-the-water education programs to kids. Organization should already have existing, frequent, on-the-water programs, such as educational boat trips or kayak excursions. Organizations that also incorporate boating safety and clean water education into their programs will be favored. If your organization does not provide safe and clean boating education already, you will need to include these topics in your programming to be eligible to purchase the discounted life jackets.

The following types of organizations are eligible for this program:

  • Volunteer boating groups, clubs and associations
  • Local nonprofit/tax exempt organizations, including chapters of national organizations

The following types of organization are NOT eligible for this program:

  • Government Agencies
  • National or international organizations
  • For-profit businesses or individuals
  • Private clubs who are not open to the general public
  • Organizations not based in the U.S.

How To Apply: Applications will be accepted through the online application form. Applicants must complete the application in entirety and submit it by clicking the “Submit” button at the bottom of the application by the deadline. Applicants are allowed to request up to 50 life jackets total. Applications that are not complete will not be reviewed. Applicants can include video, photographs and other supporting materials with their application (See Additional Requirements for Photograph(s), Video, and Other Attachment Content for more information on acceptable attachments). These files will need to be attached to the application through the Upload File field. These attachments may be used by the Review Committee in evaluating the application and may be posted with the project information during the voting phase. Attachments or Applications that are submitted via US mail will not be considered.


Application Content Guidelines: Applications must:

  • be in English
  • be submitted using the online application form and sent to the Foundation by using the “Submit” button at the bottom of the application
  • have all Application questions completed
  • be from an organization or group that is eligible for funding (see Eligibility)


Additional Requirements for Photograph(s), Video, and Other Attachment Content (if applicable):

  • Any video used must reside in your YouTube account (and comply with the "YouTube Community Guidelines" set forth in ("Code of Conduct") & Terms of Service. You will have a space to provide a link to the video in the application
  • All other attachment content can be attached to the application through the Upload File field;
    • Allowable file types allowable include: .jpg,.jpeg,.gif,.doc,.zip,.docx,.pdf
    • Photos of your on-the-water program may be included in your entry for online voting.
  • Photos, videos, graphics, and images must be the property of the applicant;
  • The applicant must have written permission from all individuals in the photograph(s) and/or video (regardless of if they are in the foreground or background) – if an individual in the photograph(s) and/or video is under the age of majority in their state of residence, written permission must be obtained from the individual's parent or legal guardian;
  • All attachment content must be appropriate to the theme of the application.


Review Phase:After the application deadline, a Review Committee will review all applications that have been properly submitted. The Review Committee will choose the best applications to move on to the voting phase. Applicants who have been selected will be notified before the voting phase begins. All applicants are encouraged to begin planning how they will promote their application should they be accepted for the voting phase. Applications will be reviewed and the best applications will be selected to move on to the voting phase based on the following criteria:


  • Does the organization and its programs meet the Eligibility requirements of the Kids Afloat Program?
  • Is the request for life jackets within the scope of the Kids Afloat Program?
  • Did the Applicant follow all application directions?
  • Is the organization already established and currently offering on-the-water educational programs to kids?
  • Does the Applicant’s current educational programs include boating safety and clean water components?
  • Does the organization currently reach a broad audience?


Voting Phase: The best applications will move on to the voting phase. Voting will begin in the Spring of 2014. Voting will take place on the Foundation’s Facebook page and website. A summary of the application and appropriate photographs and video will be posted online for the public to view and vote on. Applicants should promote their application to their members, community and local media to encourage voting. The applicants with the most votes at the end of the voting phase will be given the opportunity to purchase the discounted life jackets.


Selected Groups: After voting is complete, Foundation staff will notify all applicants of the status of their application. Applicants who have been chosen to participate in the Kids Afloat Program will receive the information needed to pay for the life jackets they requested. Checks must be received before the life jackets will be mailed. If a program participant does not already include boating safety and clean water education is their programming, they will need to detail how this information has been included in their programming before the life jackets will be sent. Program participants are required to provide the Foundation with a status update on their program. A one-page report is required after the end of the boating season detailing how the life jackets impacted the program, how boating safety and clean water were incorporated into the program and how many teens benefited from the program. At least three pictures of the life jackets in use are also required with the report.


Agreement to Official Application Guidelines: By submitting an application for the Kids Afloat Program, applicant fully and unconditionally agrees to and accepts these Official Application Guidelines and the decisions of the BoatUS Foundation, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Kids Afloat Program. Application submission gives the Foundation the right to reproduce, distribute or edit the application for use by the Kids Afloat Program.

If you have questions about the Kids Afloat Program, contact