Who should apply?

We are most interested in programs that have a strong service model—that is, programs based on strong evidence from practice and/or research about which services improve youth outcomes. Organizations that have already engaged in self-assessment or service evaluation to identify areas for improvement are often best able to take advantage of service improvement funds.

If an organization is headquartered outside the five boroughs of New York, but serve youth in the targeted boroughs, is it eligible?

Organizations must have a New York City based office as well as serve youth in the targeted boroughs to apply for funding. The organization would need to seek other funding for improvements to services outside the five boroughs of New York.

Most of the youth participating in the services that are targeted for improvement are in the eligible age range, but some children under the age of five are served. Can this organization apply?

We will use the age of the youth who are receiving the services targeted for improvement to determine eligibility. At least 80% of these youth should be within the age range of 5-25. If the relevant participants include youth outside of the Foundation’s age range, you must include a count of youth both inside and outside of the age range as part of your application.

If an organization serves both youth and adults, how should the youth budget get reported?

Multi-service agencies—organizations that serve both youth and adults—should report the direct and indirect costs of all services offered to young people under the age of 25, including services not targeted for improvement.

We find it useful to think of this as a functional allocation of expenses to youth programming, including all costs of programs dedicated to youth under the age of 25 and indirect costs from operations. For example, each year, the Foundation produces a functional allocation of expenses, dividing our spending into three categories: investing, program (i.e., grantmaking), and administration. Sometimes we allocate an entire staff person’s salary to one category; other times we allocate parts of salaries, depending on how these staff members spend their time during the year.

Please note that for this grantmaking program, organizations that serve adults as part of their strategy for serving youth are not considered multi-service agencies. We consider these organizations as youth-serving agencies, and evaluate their operating budgets accordingly. Examples of organizations that serve adults as part of a youth service strategy are organizations whose mission is to serve youth that then extend alumni services to former participants, or organizations that offer services to family members to reinforce service goals and/or practices in the home.

If an organization receives significant in-kind support, can this support be included in the organizational budget?

We do not include donations as part of the organizational budget used to determine eligibility. Donations include time, space or utilities.

If an organization has an active YSIG grant, can it re-apply for funding?

YSIG grantees must wait 18 months beyond the termination date of the active grant before re-applying to the YSIG program.

An organization is considering applying with a project to increase youth attendance and decrease drop-outs, but is concerned that the activities might be ineligible because you state that you do not fund “service expansion or growth.” How will you determine the eligibility?

We want to support efforts that will increase the effects of current services. For example, a program may have the capacity to serve a certain number of youth, but attendance or enrollment may be below the level the program can serve. We would fund activities to get attendance up to program capacity by decreasing drop-outs or improving the consistency of youth participation.

What we do not support are additional staff, hours of operation, or sites to boost the number of slots or the number of youth that could be served. That is what we mean by service “growth.” For example, a program that served seventh and eighth graders proposing to include ninth graders would be considered expansion and ineligible for funding.

Can we use the grant to fund additional staff positions?

If additional staff are required by the improvement plan, YSIG funds may be used for their salaries. However, if the additional staffing needs to continue after this project, the application must address how these additional costs will be supported after the end of the award period.

Can an organization work with consultants and intermediaries?

Organizations may choose to work with consultants and intermediary organizations to implement their improvement plans. In such cases, the application should describe the experience and expertise of the consultant or intermediary organization and explain why they are important to the success of the improvement project.

Application Process

Can you recommend a service quality assessment tool

The William T. Grant Foundation does not recommend a specific quality assessment tool. However, the Forum for Youth Investment has released a publication called “Measuring Youth Program Quality: A Guide to Assessment Tools,” which discusses and compares nine tools for assessing the quality of youth programs. This compendium provides information about the content, ease of use, and technical properties of these instruments and is available on the Forum’s website.

What do you mean by “service potential”?

Applicants should describe their services and explain why the services should reasonably be expected to benefit the participants if the services were running optimally. We are trying to understand how the organization is expects the participants to be better off than if they had never received the services.

How should I describe the program’s current services?

When describing the current services, please include information on the specific activities in which youth participate. This may include how youth are recruited and selected, how their time is structured, how they are grouped, or the choices they make in the program. Which and how many staff are involved with the services, and what is their training/experience? We often find it useful to think of this as describing a “typical day” in the program.

What are your main concerns when evaluating the assessment plan?

We are primarily interested in learning how the organization will measure its progress against its timeline. It is also useful to describe any management systems, processes, or dedicated staff members who will support adjusting or amending the improvement plan as the organization moves along.

What should an organization do if it doesn’t have an electronic copy of its 501(c)(3) letter from the IRS and its most recent audited financial statement or certified public accountant’s review report?

If any of these documents is not available electronically, please upload a brief statement that the materials will be mailed to the Foundation. Please send the materials to:

YSIG Program Assistant
William T. Grant Foundation
570 Lexington Avenue, 18th Floor New York, NY 10022

All documents must be post-marked by the submission deadline.

If an organization’s YSIG proposal is not approved for funding, will it receive feedback?

Unsuccessful applicants will receive copies of the reviewer forms used to evaluate the proposal.

Funding Levels

Is the maximum award $25,000 per year or $25,000 for the entire project?

Although grants may be for a period of six months to two years, the $25,000 award limit applies to the entire award, regardless of duration.

Will the YSIG program provide extra funds for evaluation?

No. Organizations that require additional funds for their improvements or evaluations should seek additional funding sources. It is possible that we will make an award contingent upon the applicant raising the additional funding needed.