DSYF Capacity Building Initiative

Dwight Stuart Youth Fund

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Grant amount: Up to US $25,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: Los Angeles County, California

Location of residency: Los Angeles County, California

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About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary


Capacity Building Initiative

A number of grantees receive capacity building support through DSYF’s four funding areas, but DSYF believes so strongly in this work that we established a separate Capacity Building Initiative that builds on our regular grantmaking. The Initiative’s objective is to increase DSYF’s commitment to strengthening youth-serving nonprofits in Los Angeles County — helping them achieve their missions by offering grant support for such purposes as staff training, creation of new staff positions, board training, facilities development, and technology purchases. We also provide regularly-updated information resources about capacity building on our website, along with a self-assessment instrument for youth-serving agencies.

DSYF periodically convenes nonprofits and funders in Southern California to explore the challenges of capacity building for youth-serving agencies in our region.

Youth-serving nonprofits can apply for grant funds to support capacity building activities of their own choosing; these requests will be considered independent of any program requests, and you may ask for both program and capacity building support at the same time. However, please note that capacity building grants are currently one-time-only to allow as many grantees as possible to receive this support.

Funding Areas

Education Enrichment

This funding area supports and strengthens programs that provide a well-rounded education for youth. These include before-school, in-school, and after-school programs that enhance academic skills, expose and provide instruction in arts and culture, and allow youth opportunities to participate in new activities and a world beyond their communities. These programs help youth develop skills and knowledge regardless of ability and teach values such as respect, patience, self-discipline, integrity, tenacity, and teamwork.

Programs Include:

  • Sports and Recreation
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Cultural Enrichment
  • Homework Assistance and Tutoring
  • Language Arts and Literacy
  • Creative Writing
  • Field Trips and Camps
  • Career Guidance and Youth Employment
  • College Readiness and Educational Planning


This funding area supports and strengthens programs that allow adults and youth to interact with one another in a consistent, nurturing, and long-term relationship that offers understanding, guidance, and practical life skills.

Programs Include:

  • Adult-Youth Mentoring
  • Team Mentoring
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Apprenticeships / Internships


This funding area supports and strengthens programs that teach and develop leadership skills and principles. Programs in this area also educate and encourage youth about their responsibilities as concerned and informed members of society.

Programs Include:

  • Youth Advocacy
  • Youth Organizing
  • Skills Development: Leadership, Written and Oral Communication
  • Programs Run by Youth
  • Community Service
  • Peer Counseling
  • Peer Education

School Readiness

This funding area supports and strengthens programs that influence learning and literacy experiences for pre-school children ages 2-5.

We give priority to programs that:

  • Create an individualized curriculum based on each child’s developmental needs
  • Provide a safe and stimulating environment for learning
  • Focus on a clear philosophy and communicate with staff, parents, and the community
  • Regularly assess their curriculum and work with local schoolsReflect the culture, class, and language of their community

Programs Include:

  • Cognitive Development
  • Language Development
  • Emotional Development
  • Literacy

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Only organizations with current tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Service Code Section 501(c) 3 are eligible for funding.
  • Within our four funding areas we support projects and programs that provide direct services to underserved children and youth.
  • Our geographic focus area is Los Angeles County.


  • Funding is not available for:
    • Individuals
    • Private foundations
    • Annual giving campaigns
    • Buildings or capital campaigns
    • Unrestricted endowments or deficit reduction
    • Political parties, candidates, campaigns, or lobbying activities
    • Fundraising activities, benefit sponsorship, advertisements, or tables
    • Medical or health programs, including hospitals, clinics, and mental or physical trauma recovery programs; DSYF also does not fund programs for children and youth who are diagnosed as emotionally and/or developmentally disabled, or chronically and terminally ill.
    • Organizations which, in their constitution or practice, discriminate against a person or group on the basis of age, political affliation, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or religious belief.
    • Programs operating outside Los Angeles County.