Wallace Foundation: Funding Opportunity to Advance Cross-Sector Partnerships for Adolescents

The Wallace Foundation

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Predicted deadline: Nov 4, 2024Nov 4, 2024 1:00pm PST (Letter of inquiry)

Grant amount: Approximately US $200,000

Fields of work: Youth Services After School /Summer Educational Programs Teacher Development & Training Academic Success & Enrichment Children’s Mental Health Children With Disabilities Child Foster Care & Adoption Services Juvenile Justice Poverty Alleviation & Services Homelessness Services LGBTQIA+ Services English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Education Immigrant Services Show all

Applicant type: Organizations

Funding uses: Project / Program, Education / Outreach, Training / Capacity Building

Location of project: United States, American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands Show all

Location of residency: United States, American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands Show all

990 Snapshot



Funding Opportunity

Wallace is seeking expressions of interest from groups of organizations that are working together to promote youth development, are seeking financial support to strengthen their work and can help us determine new directions for our Learning and Enrichment programs.

We seek not individual organizations, but groups of organizations working together in formal or informal partnerships to support adolescent youth development. We could fund, for example, a partnership between a school district, the community’s office of health and human services and an out-of-school time intermediary to work with community partners to support unhoused adolescent youth’s physical, mental and educational needs. Each group of organizations selected will receive grants averaging $200,000 for a year of work, as well as access to other supports such as peer learning and technical assistance.

Wallace has three goals for this effort:

  • To support innovative partnerships that serve youth and strengthen the communities in which they reside;
  • To learn about those partnerships’ strengths, challenges, and opportunities for improvement; and
  • To use what we learn during this period – which we are referring to as an exploratory phase – to inform the design of future Wallace initiatives.

What Participation Entails

This one-year, exploratory phase is intended to support and strengthen collaborative strategies communities are using to promote youth development, help Wallace learn more about those strategies and inform Wallace’s future efforts in the area. In particular, we are looking to fund projects over the course of one year that are an element of a broader strategy or effort that would play out over a longer period of time.

Participants will use Wallace support to implement or improve their work, reflect on their progress and identify the resources they need to meet their objectives. Independent researchers, youth development experts and Wallace staff will study the work to help us learn more about the kinds of partnerships that exist, the goals they hope to achieve, the strategies they employ to achieve them, the barriers they confront and the supports they need to make progress. Researchers will share their findings with Wallace and the partnerships selected to participate in the exploratory phase.

We intend to use lessons we learn from this exploratory phase to help design our next initiative in learning and enrichment, which will likely span five to seven years. That initiative will, we hope, produce further insights and evidence that could benefit the broader youth development sector.

We therefore ask grantees to commit to:

  • One year of participation by a team that includes representatives from each of the organizations partnering to implement the funded strategy;
  • Work with a research team that will study the work by convening focus groups, conducting interviews and/or administering surveys; and
  • Host researchers, consultants and/or Wallace staffers for site visits.

If participants request them, we may also offer access to peer learning opportunities and consultants who can provide technical assistance. We expect to have a better sense of offerings and activities once we have selected grantees for the exploratory phase and learned more about their needs. ​


We anticipate that projects might include:

  • Professional development to adults serving youth
  • Human resources strategies to recruit, train, and retain high-quality instructors
  • Comprehensive cross-sector planning that includes stakeholder engagement
  • Mapping existing youth service offerings
  • Engaging the broader community
  • Giving young people a greater say in programming
  • Managing finances and/or mapping of existing funding streams, and
  • Planning for continuous improvement, through, for example, identification of required data sources, roll out of a data system, and staff training.

Demographic Information

Wallace is interested in exploring projects that serve adolescents who are facing systemic challenges or who are impacted by structural factors that make it difficult to thrive. For example, this may mean that a young person who is:

  • Living in a high-poverty community
  • Unhoused
  • Systems-involved (e.g., juvenile justice or foster care)
  • LBGTQ+
  • An English-language learner
  • A migrant or an immigrant
  • Dealing with a learning difference or a physical, mental or behavioral disability
  • And/or others, as identified by communities

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


  • We are looking for partnerships among organizations that:
    • Work at the systems-level, i.e. they work across sites or programs in a cross-sector partnership that includes public or private entities such as county or municipal offices, business organizations or coalitions, non-profit organizations, neighborhood development corporations, higher education institutions, community organizers and school districts;
    • Have an existing or emergent strategy focused on adolescents, which we define roughly as youth aged 11 to 19, especially those who face systemic or structural challenges, such as poverty, homelessness and physical, mental or behavioral disabilities or others;
    • Focus on learning and development opportunities for youth beyond the traditional classroom;
    • Are already in place, not created for the purpose of applying for this grant opportunity; and
    • Work at the local level (e.g., neighborhood, town, city or county) in the United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands or Guåhan (Guam).
  • Grantees may use funds to support efforts including but not limited to:
    • Cross-sector planning;
    • Efforts to strengthen governance, accountability and improvement systems;
    • Program planning or implementation;
    • Community engagement and youth voice efforts;
    • Fiscal planning or data mapping;
    • Market research;
    • Professional development.
  • Grantees may also request coaching (funded by Wallace) they think could help them achieve their goals.
  • If they would find it valuable, grantees may work in learning communities to learn from each other.
  • If a current grantee meets the eligibility requirements and is interested, we encourage them to apply.
  • Our standard for indirect costs is 20 percent for nonprofits and 15 percent for school districts/govt entities/universities.


  • We do not fund internationally.
  • In general, Wallace does not provide funding to cover general operating costs.

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This page was last reviewed November 09, 2023 and last updated November 09, 2023