Three men of vision - Ed Riseborough, Bob Lemire and the late Fritz Grunebaum established the United States Rugby Foundation in Boston in 1963. They believed that the 100-year-old sport of rugby could take root in the United States through the creation of a foundation whose mission would be to grow and promote the sport at the grass roots level. From its origins as the Bay State Rugby Foundation, the Foundation grew under Fritz's guidance and the leadership of Dick Poulson of the Washington Rugby Club and Joe Walsh of Boston and M.I.T. Today, the Foundation continues to build on this bold vision through its programs and activities. Rugby is now played by over 4,700 men's, women's, masters, girls and boys clubs in the United States with the greatest growth coming in the formation of new youth and high school rugby programs.
The Foundation preceded USA Rugby (the governing body of the sport in the U.S.) by some twelve years and was set up as a charitable Public Foundation with chartered goals of promoting and popularizing the game of rugby in the United States. While the Foundation is completely independent of USA Rugby, its programs generally complement and support those of USA Rugby.
Donations and contributions made to the Foundation by individuals or organizations are exempt from U.S. Federal and State Tax in accordance with the Foundation's status as a 501(c)3 organization. Foundation assets earmarked for giving are dispersed in the form of grants to individuals and organizations that have demonstrable needs or requests that meet the guidelines established by the Foundation.