Youth Services Improvement Grants

William T. Grant Foundation

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Grant amount: US $25,000

Anticipated deadline: Mar 12, 2021 11:00am PST

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in New York: Bronx County, Kings County, New York County, Queens County, Richmond County

Location of residency: Counties in New York: Bronx County, Kings County, New York County, Queens County, Richmond County

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About this funder:



The Youth Service Improvement Grants (YSIG) program supports activities intended to improve the quality of services for young people ages 5 to 25 in the five boroughs of New York City. Our goal is to help strengthen existing youth services by addressing issues or problems at the point of service, where staff and youth interact.

Applicants should describe the organization’s mission and the specific youth services targeted for improvement. They should carefully describe an issue or problem at the point-of-service, outline how they identified the problem, and explain how it has limited the impact of their services. They should also propose a solution that addresses the issue and a feasible plan to implement the improvement. 

These grants fund specific, standalone projects that will make services more effective and, ultimately, provide youth with better experiences. Applicants should focus on a compelling issue or problem with their current services and propose their best improvement idea. Possible problem areas for improvement include: the program curriculum and teaching materials, direct service skills of frontline staff, or a gap in current services. Applicants should not feel limited to these examples. We encourage applicants to examine other issues at the point of service and propose appropriate solutions.


Awards are $25,000 each and support projects lasting between six months and two years. Although the Foundation is prepared to fully fund projects within our budget range, we are also willing to co-fund larger improvement efforts with other funders. Regardless of the size of the budget for the improvement project, we encourage applicants to commit some of their own resources through in-kind support or the use of unrestricted funds. We view this action as one indication of organizational commitment to the improvement project.

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


  • To be eligible for consideration, applying organizations must:
    • Have 501(c)(3) tax-exemption.
      • If an applying organization is separately incorporated but tax-exempt through a group ruling, the applicant should supply the 501(c)(3) letter of the parent organization and documentation that it is part of the group.
      • In this case, only the applying organization’s budget will be considered under the YSIG eligibility guidelines.
      • If the applying organization is a sub-unit of the parent organization and is not separately incorporated, the parent organization’s budget will be considered under the eligibility guidelines.
    • Have an operating budget between $250,000 and $5 million, if the organization serves youth only.
      • If the applying organization serves youth and other populations, its operating budget must be less than $20 million and its youth services budget must be between $250,000 and $5 million.
    • Be a community-based organization (CBO) that provides youth services in any of the five boroughs of New York City. 
    • Serve youth ages 5 to 25.
      • At least 80 percent of youth participating in the services targeted for improvement must be in this age range.
    • Serve youth directly; applicant staff must have direct contact with youth at the point of service.
  • The YSIG program only supports improvement activities.
  • All proposed budgetary items must be directly related to the proposed improvement.


  • Special Considerations
    • While our main objective is to help meaningful programs provide better services and increase their impact, we are particularly interested in some improvement program approaches.
    • These considerations include:
      • Programs for underserved populations. 
        • If appropriate, applicants should describe their participants’ demographics.
      • Staff training.
        • Applicants proposing this should consider coaching of frontline staff using a well-developed tool (refer to Measuring Youth Program Quality: A Guide to Assessment Tools, 2nd Edition for guidance), or develop site directors’ skills to conduct effective staff development with frontline staff.
        • Applicants may want to mention whether frontline staff fall within the Foundation’s definition of youth (ages 5 to 25).


  • Public and private schools are not eligible for consideration.
  • Organizations previously funded under the YSIG program cannot apply again for at least 18 months after the end of their award.
  • The program does not support general operations;
    • planning, needs assessment, and evaluation proposals will not be considered.
  • Organizational improvement activities not focused on changes at the point-of-service, such as board development or financial system updates, are also ineligible.
  • The YSIG program also does not fund building campaigns, scholarships, endowments, lobbying, or awards to individuals.
  • The Foundation will not fund changes that simply increase the number of slots in a program (expansions).