Continuing in our series on special-interest groups, this blog addresses funding for at-risk youth programs. Many grants are aimed specifically at 1) educational programs, 2) community outreach programs, or 3) municipalities. In your search for funding opportunities, use keywords including these areas. And in your proposal, emphasize how your program addresses the area of greatest interest to the funding agency. Below are examples of grants for at-risk youth. Think of how your effort could fit into one of these areas to improve your successful funding of at-risk-youth programs.
Education Grants for At-Risk YouthThe education field is ripe with opportunities to help at-risk youth. The U.S. Government is particularly concerned with this area and offers several grants addressing youth behavior. Understanding what the government wants to fund, and tailoring your program accordingly, is an important step in securing one of these grants.
- The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funds programs to reduce juvenile crimes and train people who are working with at-risk youth. Last year alone, more than 45 grants were issued totaling $262,604,665—a list of them is available on the website. Knowing what was funded can help in determining what will be funded in the future. The website also gives specific goals for young adolescents, teens, and communities for each grant.
- The Department of Health and Human Services funds the Adolescent Family Life_Demonstration Projects that are aimed specifically at aiding youth 17 and under who are unmarried and pregnant or parenting. This grant funds care services and pregnancy prevention programs. The website lays out very specific criteria that can aid in developing a proposal.
Community Grants for At-Risk YouthYou may have noticed the ever-increasing push to get kids healthy by getting them involved. When it comes to grants for communities, both The U.S. Soccer Foundation and Build-A-Bear are ready with funding.
- The U.S. Soccer Foundation awards grants of up to $50,000 for communities looking to buy equipment and fund youth soccer programs. This foundation also provides grants of up to $60,000 for communities to create a “Safe Place to Play” by offering grants for lighting, turf, and irrigation systems. Grant application deadlines are February 6th for spring sports and June 5th for summer programs. Take advantage of the comprehensive information available on the website when planning your community’s program and application.
- The Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation funds three different programs. One program, Bear Hugs, provides an average of $1,500 per grant, but can award as much as $5,000 to aid in “the areas of health and wellness such as childhood disease research foundations, child safety organizations, and organizations that serve children with special needs.” When applying for this grant, tell them exactly much money you need and how many children you can help—they like grant proposals that are specific and can show past success. Another Build-A-Bear program promotes literacy and education through “Paperback Pup” sales. This program supports organizations providing books for schools, libraries, and homes. (The third grant supports domestic pets.) Information about the 2015 grant deadlines is not yet on the website, so check frequently for new postings.
Municipal Funding for At-Risk YouthMunicipalitieswishing to reach at-risk youth have additional grant opportunities. From designating school police officers to sponsoring community events, there is money available to help programs working for the betterment of all children.
- In 2014, approximately $123 million was awarded to schools by the COPS program, in part to help put police officers in schools, according to cops.usdoj.gov. School resource officers are becoming the norm in American high schools, and grants are available to help make this a reality for your police department or school. The website lists yearly awards back through 2009; although the 2015 dates are not yet posted, keep an eye out for new information. TGH previously highlighted this grant in a May 22nd blog; this is one to keep an eye on.
- Through its Target and Blue program, the Target Corporation is working to build stronger communities. Each year Target awards grants for community events, public safety, and just general fun for all. Target boasts grants in all 50 states and works locally through its stores. More information on these opportunities can be found on its website or by visiting your local Target.
Tips for Securing Grants:
- Understand what the grant program is looking to fund and tailor your proposal to show how you accomplish what’s important to them.
- Look at what has been funded in the past to better predict what will be funded in the future.
- Study the grant application and information; many will list specific criteria for funding.
- Have data available to support your organization’s past successes.
- Be specific in your request. Exactly what will you do? How much do you need to help how many people?
Granting organizations want to help programs that will do the most good; building stronger children builds a stronger future. Tailoring your proposal for a specific program is not always as simple as it sounds. That’s where we can help. Contact TheGrantHelpers.com to see how we can work with you to create an application that attracts the funds you need.
Photo Credit: Kris Duda