Football for Hope

Football for Hope

By Caitlin Moyles

Back to FIFA’s Humanitarian Aid and Corporate Social Responsibility

Football for Hope, the main charitable branch of FIFA, engages with member associations, international development agencies, and NGOs to use football for social development around the world. When Sepp Blatter assumed the FIFA presidency in 1998, he announced that FIFA would allocate 0.7% of its total revenue to its Football for Hope activities [1]. As mentioned in the introduction, the number of community-based organizations supported by Football for Hope continues to grow. In 2012, FIFA provided financial support for 63 community-based organizations around the world— in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, North America, and Oceania—through the Football for Hope program [2].

FIFA’s Football for Hope program provides funding for NGOs and community-based organizations that use football as an instrument for social development.

FIFA’s Football for Hope program provides funding for NGOs and community-based organizations that use football as an instrument for social development.

One branch of Football for Hope is 20 Centers for 2010, the official campaign of the 2010 World Cup. As Blatter stated in FIFA’s final report on 20 Centers for 2012, “We want to…give back to Africa something substantial and leave a lasting legacy well after 11 July, 2010.” Initiated in 2007, FIFA aimed to build 20 centers across Africa, run by local best-practice partner organizations, to promote football and educational programs on topics including HIV/AIDS awareness, literacy, and gender equality. According to the report, 20 completed centers have enabled FIFA and their local partners to reach over 70,000 young people across Africa. To fund the projects, FIFA provided:

  • a basic investment of USD $ 9 million
  • $2.5 million of their disciplinary fines from the 2010 World Cup
  • $975,000 from public viewing revenues from the 2010 World Cup
  • $2.3 million in proceeds, partnering with Sony Music, from “Listen up! The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album”

Click here to view a map and key of the 20 completed Football for Hope centers on pages eight and nine of “20 Centers for 2010: Final Report.”

FIFA will provide an infrastructure maintenance fund for the center hosts, but has only guaranteed to fund the centers’ activities for three years after construction. Whether the local partners can make the centers self-supporting in three years’ time remains to be seen. [3]

Football for Hope is just one branch of FIFA’s CSR efforts, but as the main umbrella of most of FIFA’s charitable work, it seems appropriate to ask, could Football for Hope be doing more for the good of society? FIFA could start by conducting research studies, gathering measurable results, and critically evaluating the effectiveness of their own programs. These studies would add depth to—and hopefully legitimize—the positive claims FIFA made in its final report on 20 Centers for 2010, which currently has greater semblance to a promotional brochure than a research report.

To put FIFA’s charitable work in perspective, it is also important to ask, how does the 0.7 percent of revenues that FIFA allocates to Football for Hope programs compare to other corporations? In the introduction to a document outlining the mission, goals, and programs of FIFA’s Football for Hope movement, Blatter stated that FIFA was matching the same percentage set by the International Conference on Financing for Development held in Monterrey in 2002, which required industrialized countries to contribute 0.7 percent of their GDP toward development aid. He boasted that 0.7 percent is “a percentage of revenues that only very few countries in the world have reached.” [4]

However, one must look at companies’ charitable contributions as a percentage of pretax profits to get a better sense of where FIFA’s humanitarian aid falls on the scale of corporate charitable donations. According to a 2013 article by Ken Stern that was published on, corporate contributions to U.S. charities have fallen over the past 30 years, from a high of 2.1 percent at its peak in 1986 to just around 0.8 percent in 2012. Some companies have distinguished themselves in the field of corporate giving, donating amounts that, as percentages of total revenues, outstrip the surprisingly paltry 0.8 percent average. In 2010, Kroger, the Cincinnati-based supermarket chain, donated $64 million, or 10.9 percent of its pretax profit, while Macy’s gave away 8.1 percent of its profits the same year. In 2012, Target contributed 4.7 percent of its profit and paired that sum with a commitment to donate $1 billion to public education. [5] If one looks at these contributions as percentages of total revenues, rather than as absolute figures, these companies have far outdone FIFA’s pledge. It’s better that FIFA does something than nothing at all. But as an international organization with incredible wealth and power, FIFA should be held to a high standard. When put in perspective, the percentage of revenues FIFA allocates to charitable activities isn’t outstanding.

How to cite this article: “FIFA Institutional Politics,” Written by Brittney Balser, Christina Malliris, Caitlin Moyles, and Maggie Lin (2013), World Cup 2014, Soccer Politics Blog, (accessed on (date)).

Sources for more information

[1] “Make the World a Better Place,” p. 5. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

[2] “Activity Report 2012,” p. 70. 30 May 2013. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

[3] “20 Centers for 2010: Final Report,” p. 7-9. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

[4] “Make the World a Better Place,” p. 5. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

[5] Stern, Ken. “Why don’t corporations give to charity?” 8 Aug. 2013. Web. 30 Nov. 2013.

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