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Seeking Funding for your Youth-Serving 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:


/Other Way Ministries received a youth grant in 2010 for its Youth Employment Service (Y.E.S.) program.

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 $50,000 in funding is available for youth-serving programs. Average size of grants awarded is $3,000. Primary consideration will be given to programs or projects that address these issues faced by youth:
•    succeeding academically and getting into college;
•    coping with family issues such as divorce or job loss;
•    feelings of depression, not “fitting in,” low self-esteem;
•    engaging in risky behavior (including sexual activity and use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs).

In a survey of conducted in the fall of 2010 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;
•    Jobs and career options; career preparation programs;
•    Navigating the path to college – college access programs.

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 38 applications and awarded $49,975.00 to 16 programs. One grant was made to the Youth Employment Program at Other Way Ministries (pictured.) Located in the West Side, this program provides young people with valuable work experience as well as life-skills training.

The application deadline is Monday, February 14, 2011 at midnight. 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 in May. Questions? Contact Cris Kooyer at 454-1751 or [email protected].

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