New funding opportunity: Northside Youth Enrichment Fund

Northside Funders Group (NFG) is pleased to announce a new youth-focused funding opportunity, which is currently accepting applications!

BACKGROUND

Historically, NFG has supported education as one of its core grantmaking priorities. This is entirely appropriate given than 41% of Northsiders are under the age of 24 (Minnesota Compass).  Yet NFG’s education grantmaking stalled in recent years. At the same time, NFG membership grew, and engagement deepened to support a sharp strategy to grow a thriving local small business economy across the Northside. We want to generate that same level of funder interest in a revitalized education funding priority.  Here’s how we will begin this work.

In November 2022, NFG hosted two listening sessions with key stakeholders to inform our approach to the Northside Youth Enrichment Fund—an initial $75,000 fund from which NFG plans to award “testing grants” before close of our fiscal year (March 31, 2023). Lessons learned from these initial investments will inform a more formalized funding strategy moving into FY24 (starting April 2023). 

NORTHSIDE YOUTH ENRICHMENT FUND GUIDELINES

Based on input from Northside youth, parents, teachers/principals and nonprofit leaders, NFG will proceed with the following focus for its Northside Youth Enrichment Fund:

  • GRANT SIZE: Up-to-$10,000 
  • GRANT TYPE: General Operating
  • PRIORITY CONSTITUENCY: Northside Students/Youth ages 10-24
  • PURPOSE: To support expanded learning opportunities by connecting Northside youth to exceptional enrichment opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.  
  • ELIGIBILITY: Proposed projects may be directly connected to Northside schools (both district or not) or adjacent to the formal schooling system (i.e., via 501c3, individuals or for-profit). 
  • DECISION-MAKING PROCESS: A committee including Northside youth will review and make funding recommendations to NFG’s membership.

KEY DEFINITIONS

  • Northsider: Anyone who lives, works, goes to school in North Minneapolis. Projects based in and/or serving a majority Northside constituency and individuals who contribute positively to North Minneapolis.
  • Enrichment Opportunities: Projects, initiatives and programs supporting access to experiences otherwise out of reach for Northside youth. Examples include school trips, mentorship, specialized equipment (i.e. cameras, uniforms, instruments) and more.

ADDITIONAL TAKE-AWAYS FROM STAKEHOLDER LISTENING SESSIONS

Stakeholders lifted up several important structural elements for NFG’s consideration. While these cannot be incorporated into the testing phase, we will ensure they are part of future discussions as NFG moves to formalize a longer-standing fund.

  • SUSTAINED FUNDING: As work with youth is developmental, NFG should strive to provide multi-year funding in order to track positive impact.
  • METRICS FOR SUCCESS: Measuring impact is critical, but metrics of success should be self-determined by each grantee and the effort required to meet reporting standards should be commensurate with the level of funding provided (i.e. very minimal for a $10K grant).
  • DECISION MAKING: Youth participation in decision making is considered central to the process and in itself provides an enrichment opportunity.

HOW TO APPLY AND DECISION DATES

To submit an application, NFG is using a simple Google Forms–click here to open the application. This application portal will be open from December 15, 2022 to February 15, 2023.

After submission, a committee of Northside youth and NFG members will review your application. While a site visit is not part of the process, a committee member may reach out to clarify any aspects of the submission.

Award decisions will be made on February 10th 2023 and March 10th 2023.

WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS?

If you have questions or would like to discuss your idea, please email NFG’s Managing Consultant, E.Coco at [email protected] The email should include your name, a phone number and your inquiry. Coco will then call the number you listed to address your needs.

THANK YOU TO SUPPORTING FUNDERS

This funding opportunity is made possible by the annual membership contributions of each NFG member and special funding support from Carlson Family Foundation, Best Buy and The Mortenson Family Foundation.

Our Members who are Committed to a Thriving North Minneapolis

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Funding the Northside