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Seeking Funding for Your Youth-Oriented Program?

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Underwriting support from:

/Breaktime Bakery, a program funded in part by the YGC at Grand Rapids Community Foundation

The Youth Grant Committee (YGC) is comprised of public, private and home-schooled high school students from the greater Grand Rapids area. During the school year, members meet and assess youth issues, develop a request for proposals process to address those needs, follow up with previous grantees, conduct interviews and site visits and present grant recommendations to the Foundation's Board of Trustees. The YGC is currently seeking grant proposals for programs in the Grand Rapids area.

A total of $45,000 is available to assist with the enhancement or implementation of youth-serving programs. Primary consideration will be given (but not limited to) programs or projects that address pressures faced by youth to succeed, to “fit in,” or to engage in risky behavior (including sexual activity and use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs). Average size of grants awarded is $3,000. In a survey of conducted in the fall of 2008 by members of the YGC, the types of programs that youth identified as most helpful in addressing these issues were:

  • Competitive sports
  • Arts, writing, or music-focused activities
  • Learning skills or hobbies (i.e.; computers, knitting)
  • Homework assistance or tutoring
  • Drop-in youth centers and mentoring programs
  • “Real life” learning experiences or career prep

Historically, the Youth Grant Committee has looked more favorably on proposals for projects that:

  • Have a clear-cut, organized goal with foreseeable long-term benefits for youth in the greater Grand Rapids area.
  • Are original, unique, well-written and CREATIVE!
  • Involve youth in program development and/or implementation.
  • Address an identified need area (above), and benefit a significant number of youth.
  • Have limited funds and lack of other resources.

Last year, the YGC received 54 applications and awarded $58,380.00 to 17 programs. One of these programs was the Breaktime Bakery Program at New City Neighbors (pictured.) Located in the Creston neighborhood, 12 middle school students from the area learned job skills such as cooperation and working in teams.

The deadline for grant applications is February 8. Applications are submitted online at You need to be representing a nonprofit charitable organization with a 501(c)3 designation from the IRS in order to apply. If your program is awarded a grant, you or a representative of your program will need to attend the YGC year-end dinner on May 27. Questions? Contact Cris Kooyer at 454-1751 or [email protected].


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it would be nice to see projects teaching youth about nutrition, health, and teaching them how to cook and prepare unprocessed foods. There is a growing trend in the country to eat processed items that are not nutritious foods, and contributes to the problem of growing waist lines. The longer we wait to teach the kids the difference, the more they will have to struggle later....

Perhaps how to grow foods too? Even a small city apartment can have room for a potted window garden.