Youthprise has been quickly pivoting our work to support the needs of those most impacted by COVID-19. We have been convening our grantee and youth servicing intermediaries. Since March 13th, we moved our work online and have been connecting with local and national youth-serving organizations and funders. The toll of economic hardship, social distancing, xenophobia, and systematic and individual racism has had significant impacts on the Asian, African American, American Indian, and those experiencing poverty in Minnesota. We are working hard to support the communities most impacted and to prep for recovery.

Steps We Have Taken Since March 13, 2020

  1. We have raised an additional $265K:
    • $200K from the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund (MDRF)
    • $25K from The Graves foundation
    • $10K from the Thrivent Foundation
    • $5K from United Health Care
  2. We worked with our funders to release grant restrictions which then doubles the amount from $125K to $250K thanks to our McKnight match funding.
    • $100K from Target
    • $25K from 3M
  3. We made our funding more flexible for current grantees by extending: grant periods, report deadlines, and allowable expenses.
    • Our Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) team made funding more flexible to support the needs of cohort participants and are moving their work online.
    • Our YouthBank program has transitioned their funds to be more flexible and is working to connect with young people to vision for what philanthropy can offer during recovery.
  4. Minnesota Afterschool Advance has shifted to shipping computers to low-income families for distance learning.
  5. Our Nutrition Hub was successful in advocating for waivers to allow us to continue to offer food to families most in need.

Granted and Awarded: $310K to Youth-serving organizations State-wide

Newly Unrestricted Funds: $125K matched by McKnight to $250K

Restructured Grants: $225K to YPAR and YouthBank sites

Total Invested in COVID-19 Relief: $660K!



  • Equity-Minded – We are prioritizing youth and communities most impacted by disparities and championing their needs.
  • Asset-Based – We believe in asset-based approaches to working with our youth and communities: we are resilient, we have the knowledge we need, and we are vigilant.
  • Solutions-Focused – We are partnering to help our youth, families, and organizations to do better; we are sharing ways people can donate and amplifying youth voice, we can all do something to make a difference.
  • In it for the long haul – We are responding in the short term and planning for the future two months and a year down the road. We will have a new normal after this and we will shape our future to be better, with and for youth.
  • Positive and Informative – We know what we amplify is impactful we are sharing images and messages that promote the above and in our collective response to Covid-19.
  • Youth-Voice Centered – We are working with youth directly and through our partners, integrating their thoughts and ideas in our actions and amplifying their voices.

Our Current Strategies:

  1. Supporting Distance learning through Minnesota Afterschool Advance
    • Helping low-income families to access the Minnesota Tax credit to get laptops and access learning supports in a time of distance learning
  2. Extending and Innovating Nutrition Supports
    • Expanding food supports for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in safe grab-and-go locations in the areas that need it the most
    • Working to ensure all possible measures are in place to provide safety and prevent contamination by:
      • Working with sites to be able to maintain safe food handling at this time
      • We are increasing the capacity to ensure safety at our vendor and with volunteers if or when they are needed
  3. Applying for additional funding from MDRF COVID-19 Disaster Relief Fund ($200-500K)
    • Furiously working to identify and leverage resources to support youth and youth-serving organizations most impacted by disparities who are working to provide supports for youth during this time
  4. Moving our YPAR and YouthBank initiatives online and supporting those learning and leading cohorts.
  5. Remaining committed to interns and hiring: we are hiring seven new interns for summer, hired two independent contractors to support with COVID-19 response, and hired a new part-time employee during the shelter-in-place order.
  6. Supporting young people directly through our Disrupt series and United for Action efforts.

Update on Actions and Investments by Program

Date range: 03/25/2020 to 04/18/2020

Youthprise COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Grants

$310K in grants to youth-serving organizations in Minnesota.
  • Youthprise received $200K from the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for Corona Virus (MDRF)
  • $160K of the MDRF was added to $150K from Youthprise (over 80% of our annual unrestricted grant funds).
  • The remaining $40K of MDRFC funds were used as follows:
    • o $30K funded distance learning laptops state-wide through Minnesota Afterschool Advance
      o $10K funded expanded Nutrition supports.
  • 90% Funds dispersed by the week of 04/27/2020.

COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Grantees:

Afro American Development Association

Asian Media Access

Asian American Organizing Project


Breakthrough Twin Cities

Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth

Centro Tyrone Guzman

Community Integration Center

Connections to Independence

Dakota Wicohan

Elpis Enterprises

Friends of St. Paul Public Library

Indigenous Peoples Task Force

Irreducible Grace Foundation

JK Movement


Ka Joog

Little Earth Residents Association

Rebound Inc.


Northfield Healthy Community Initiative

Power of People Leadership Institute

Somali American Social Services

Somali American Women Action Center

Something Cool Inc.

South Sudanese Foundation

The Beautywell Project

Urban Boatbuilders Inc.

Venn Foundation

Walker West Music Academy

We Win Institute

Youthprise Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) Response to COVID-19

  1. Youthprise’s 2020 budgeted $100K of McKnight funding and $225K in additional funds for 12 YPAR Groups and 150 participants.
  2. $125K has been made more flexible to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 so grantees can use towards operations.
  3. $200K focuses on Health Equity, given the current COVID-19 Crisis, and the resources that organizations received are flexible.
  4. Groups include young people who are experiencing housing instability or are homeless.
  5. Youthprise staff are developing in partnership with young people and YPAR organizations additional resources, online materials, and training opportunities.

Youthprise & Venn Foundation Minnesota Afterschool Advance Response to COVID-19

  1. 150 families and counting have been shipped Laptops.
  2. Leveraged over $21,000 in MN State K-12 Education Tax Credit dollars to help families pay for laptops for distance learning.
  3. $7,000 to cover 100% of families’ portions, so families pay nothing.
  4. $24,000 invested in Chromebook inventory ready to ship.
  5. 15 Chromebooks provided at bulk rate pricing to Connections to Independence to help older youth in foster care or extended foster care.
  6. Additional MAA applicant demographic points:
    • Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) make up 55% of participants and white 45%.
    • The average age of recipients is 11 the oldest 17 years old.
    • Average income of those served is $20,464 annual income. Of note those who didn’t complete applications had an average income of $13,405.
    • Regional Participation:
      • 33% Rural
      • 30% Minneapolis/St. Paul
      • 19% Suburban
      • 18% Greater Minnesota Urban

Youthprise Nutrition Hub Response to COVID-19

  1. Prior to March 13th, 2020 the Nutrition Program was serving meals across three counties to 25 youth-serving organizations.
  2. After COVID-19 required stay at home orders, all of our organizations shut down indefinitely, unsure of how they could proceed to serve their youth.
  3. USDA approved waivers removing meal service restrictions for meal programs across the country. On March 30, 2020, eight of our locations were able to operate and serve over 11,000 meals per week.
  4. Starting the beginning of May, many more are scheduled to open to support more families.

Youthprise YouthBank Response to COVID-19

  1. 1Youthprise budgeted $120k of McKnight and additional funds for YouthBank sites which has now been made more flexible for YouthBank grantees.
  2. There are 6 YouthBank sites.
    • Asian American Organizing Project
    • Asian Media Access
    • Isuroon
    • Courageous HeARTS
    • Northfield YouthBank
    • Faribault YouthBank
  3. Additional resources are identified to engage young people during the summer in a shared decision-making process to determine the continued response of COVID-19 across Minnesota.