We are pleased to announce that the Foundation has awarded three Youth Service Capacity-Building Grants to New York City nonprofit organizations that provide services to young people in the five boroughs. Part of a new program, these grants provide up to $60,000 in unrestricted general operating support over three years, with the express purpose of strengthening the infrastructure of promising organizations that provide direct services to young people ages 5 to 25 in New York City. The three organizations receiving grants are: Made in Brownsville, Marcy Lab, and Educational Video Center.
Vivian Tseng, Senior Vice President of Program, said, “The small nonprofits that are closest to their communities work tirelessly to serve young people. They often carry out this work with tightly constrained resources and little opportunity to strengthen their own organizational capacity. We are excited to be able to support Marcy Lab, Inc., Made in Brownsville, and the Educational Video Center to build their organizational infrastructure in order to continue providing enriching opportunities for young people in the arts, media, and technology.”
We are excited to be able to support Marcy Lab, Inc., Made in Brownsville, and the Educational Video Center to build their organizational infrastructure in order to continue providing enriching opportunities for young people
To be eligible for the grant, an organization must meet one of four criteria focused on reducing inequality in youth outcomes in New York City. Specifically, eligible organizations must either: 1) provide direct services to youth in ten community districts identified as having the highest risk to child well-being, 2) have existing programming tailored specifically to youth of Mexican-descent, 3) have existing programming tailored specifically to LGBTQ youth, or 4) be led by people of color and/or a member of the LGBTQ community.
The Youth Service Capacity-Building Grants program is open to nonprofit organizations that that provide direct services to youth ages 5-25 in the five boroughs and have a budget between $250,000 and $1 million. Awards provide $30,000 for the first year, $20,000 for the second year, and $10,000 in the third year. In the third year, the grantee is required to obtain new outside matching funds of $10,000.
Youth Service Capacity-Building Grants
Educational Video Center
EVC Strategic Planning
Educational Video Center (EVC) provides youth-centered media arts programs to youth ages 15-25 from underserved neighborhoods in New York City. EVC has three main programs. Their flagship program is Youth Documentary Workshops, an after-school and summer program that offers media arts instruction and mentoring where participants learn how to produce and edit films. The second program, New Media Arts, teaches participants how to remix youth-produced documentaries from EVC’s archives and how to create an interactive website that addresses a social justice issue. The third program centers on professional development and helps teachers learn skills to better evaluate student produced documentaries. EVC is at a critical juncture, as they have hired a new, female executive director of color and have intentionally increased and diversified their board after 30 years with the same leadership in place. EVC wants to scale up its programming and be more responsive to its students’ needs, especially those exacerbated by COVID-19. EVC’s proposed capacity-building goal is to have a strategic planning process for the organization. The Board and Executive Director will work with consultants at Velocity Vision to finalize and implement a 3-year plan of goals and strategies.
Marcy Lab, Inc.
Scaling and Sustaining the Future of the Marcy Lab School
Marcy Lab provides recent high school graduates ages 18-24 from East New York and Brownsville, Brooklyn with an alternative pathway to high-growth technology careers in software engineering. The Software Engineering Fellowship is a year-long program that teaches the fundamentals of programming and computer science, paired with a project-based curriculum that applies these fundamentals in a real-world context. The classroom-based training is followed by a three-month paid apprenticeship where fellows apply their skills, either as part of a real engineering team or by working on an open-source software project. With three senior staff members, Marcy Lab lacks the internal capacity to serve more youth. Currently, each staff member performs multiple tasks, and they are stretched too thin to provide the same high-quality programming to greater numbers of youth. Marcy Lab’s proposed capacity-building plan is to hire a development associate to manage all aspects of fundraising, including researching prospective funders, writing proposals, and overseeing administration and reporting for grants. This will allow the executive director to use his time to focus on programming and revenue strategies that will allow the organization to diversify its finances, grow, and serve more youth.
Made in Brownsville
YDC Communications Capacity-Building Project
Made in Brownsville provides services to youth ages 14-24 from the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville and East New York. Made in Brownsville’s Creative Apprenticeship program is a 12-week program that trains youth in foundational art, media, design, and technology skills. Youth apprentices are paired with professional design mentors from the East Brooklyn community. Together, they plan and implement projects that creatively address problems faced by their communities. Made in Brownsville’s outreach and services has grown beyond Brownsville, particularly to East New York. The organization’s leadership has determined that they would benefit from a rebranding to reflect their expansion in scope, and they recently re-named the organization “Youth Design Center.” However, despite the new name, the organization lacks sufficient communications capacity for a full, successful rebrand. The capacity-building plan is to hire a communications manager to spearhead the rebrand and expand the organization’s web presence. The communications manager will begin by conducting an audit and use the results to create and implement internal and external action items. This will include strategies for the organization’s social media and web presence.