— Our mission is to promote water safety, healthy living and the pursuit of dreams.
I am so proud of the accomplishments we have achieved and the goals reached. Our comprehensive program, IM has reached over 50,000 people with swimming lessons and a healthy living and goal-setting curriculum. We also have been working to grow the sport of swimming through Level Field Fund-Swimming. LFF-Swimming provides funding for swimmers with a financial need so they can pursue their dreams. Our Caps for a Cause program, which helps non-profit organizations raise money for their causes, has garnered thousands of dollars for nonprofits that share our mission.
Over the past couple of years, I have become a lot more open about my struggle with depression and have shared my mantra that “it’s ok to not be ok.” I am so grateful that I’ve been able to positively impact the lives of those struggling with their own mental health by simply sharing mine. We have added emotional wellness lessons and resources to IM and they are available to everyone, free of charge, through our website.
We have had a very successful decade at the Michael Phelps Foundation, and I am excited to see what the future holds for us, as we continue to promote water safety, healthy living, and the pursuit of dreams.
We couldn’t have done it without our supporters and for that, we thank each and every one of you.
Michael Phelps embraced the idea that “anything is possible” which helped propel his recording-breaking career and inspire the ambitions of swimmers and non-swimmers alike. But Michael did not become the best swimmer in history by himself, or overnight. He had an integral support system of family, coaches, and a team to help encourage and challenge him as he realized his dreams – to change the sport of swimming.
However, over the course of his decorated career, Michael observed many of the barriers, inequalities and privileges that exist within the global swimming community. He recognized that water safety lessons and messaging are not universally available, access to aquatic programming and facilities are limited, the absence of a diverse representation of swimmers and staff, and the significant financial resources necessary to participate in the sport.
The Michael Phelps Foundation (MPF), led by Michael and comprised of the same support system that helped guide his competitive career, aspires for everyone to have quality access and programming support across water safety, healthy living (physical and emotional wellness), and the pursuit of dreams.
Established in 2008, our program offerings provide access to the same curriculum and principles that helped propel the best swimmer in the world. Along with a coalition of strategic partners, MPF has provided learn-to-swim, healthy living, and goal-setting curriculum to more than 100,000 people around the world through the Boys and Girls Club of America and Special Olympics International.
We know that facilitating change is not a one-person job; it takes a family, team, network, and communities to come together and challenge what is by showing what can be. Together, anything really is possible.
Working to promote healthy, active lives, especially for children, primarily by expanding the opportunities for participation in the sport of swimming.
Swimming offers a wide variety of benefits beyond competition – from everyday health and wellness to recreational and leisure activities – and, most importantly of all, learning to swim is a life-saving skill. That being said, there are a number of barriers to entry for individuals – from fear of the water to lack of access to proper instruction – to experience the benefits of swimming.
Our signature program, IM, was developed in partnership with Nemours KidsHealth.org and Michael Phelps Swimming the im Program is a multi-faceted offering of learn-to-swim, recreational aquatic activities, organized swim training, as well as health, wellness, and goal-setting programming that is implemented through the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics International.
Overcoming fears, facing adversity, and developing goals are valuable skill sets that transcend swimming. So, too, is the significance of physical and mental/emotional health. In 2018, MPF expanded IM with a dedicated curriculum of emotional wellness lessons (IM Healthy), which is provided to Boys & Girls Clubs and Special Olympic participants. And in 2020, MPF is developing a global effort to advance mental health initiatives in partnership with several leading mental health organizations.
We are also proud to partner with The Weight of Gold which is an HBO Sports documentary exploring the mental health challenges that Olympic athletes often face. The film comes during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed the 2020 Tokyo Games — the first such postponement in Olympic history — and greatly exacerbated mental health issues.
In a typical year, more than 3.6 billion people globally tune in to watch the Olympic Games. What most of these viewers don’t know is that just like one in five Americans, many of these Olympic athletes similarly face serious mental health challenges and struggle to find the necessary support and resources.
The Weight of Gold seeks to inspire discussion about mental health issues, encourage people to seek help, and highlight the need for readily available support. It features accounts from Olympic athletes who share their own struggles with mental health issues, including Michael Phelps, Jeremy Bloom, Lolo Jones, Gracie Gold, Bode Miller, Shaun White, Sasha Cohen, David Boudia, Katie Uhlaender, and, posthumously, Steven Holcomb and Jeret “Speedy” Peterson (via his mother, Linda Peterson).
Like many pursuits in life, access and opportunity can impact one’s ability to realize their talent and maximize their potential. In an individual sport like swimming, the path forward requires resources and support that are not readily available. In 2010, MPF partnered with the Level Field Fund to provide grants that help bridge the gaps in funding for uniquely talented swimmers in financial need (Level Field Fund – Swimming) to help recipients follow (or pursue) their dreams.
The Golf.Give.Gala is our premier fundraising event. This exclusive event provides players with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not only will our participants have the opportunity to walk alongside the greatest Olympian of all time on one of the best golf courses, but their contributions will also help us continue to expand our life-saving programming to those that need it most. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we have postponed our 2020 Golf.Give.Gala to May 23 – 24, 2021 in St.Charles, Illinois.
In the hope to provide some light and positivity, we will be sharing our new logo along with a social media campaign asking supporters to share who has inspired them during this difficult time.
We will provide prizes and share the stories that have moved us.
Because we know together we are…stronger , happier, healthier. #TogetherWeAreMPF
Around the world, half a million people drown every year. More than half of those drowning victims are children. Let’s talk about it, so we can stop it.
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The support of donors and volunteers ensures participants around the world are receiving important water-safety lessons, as well as encouragement in setting active goals and fostering healthy lifestyles. Together, we can reach more people with our life-saving programming. If you would like to mail a donation, please send to: Michael Phelps Foundation, 7 Ocean Street, 2nd Floor, South Portland Maine 04106, or donate online here.
We are so thankful for our great sponsors. Because of their generosity, we can continue to make a positive impact daily.
We have been able to work along-side many great nonprofits that believe in our mission. Together we have reached over 17,000 people worldwide with our programming.
Address: 7 Ocean Street, 2nd Floor, South Portland Maine 04106
Please note that we do not fulfill Michael Phelps autograph requests. Due to the volume and frequency of requests, any item MPF receives will not be returned.
IRS 990 Forms are available upon email request. State Disclosures