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.

The online application is now open and updated application guidelines are now available. All applications must be received by March 8, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. EST.


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.

YSIG Review Committee

Applications for Youth Service Improvement Grants are reviewed by a dedicated volunteer committee of non-senior Foundation staff twice each year. Committee members have a diverse range of expertise, including finance, communications, and nonprofit administration. Thus, applications should be written to address an educated lay audience.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant is a community-based organization that provides services to youth in the five boroughs of New York City. Public and private schools are not eligible.
  • Applicant serves youth ages 5 to 25 years.
  • Applicant has an operating budget between $250,000 and $5 million.
  • Applicant is a tax-exempt organization.

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