Our 2013 Grantmaking Process: A Time for Growth and Reflection

Published on September 6, 2013 | Written by

Owner/Photographer, Nancy Wong Photography, LLC

Rudy Guglielmo, speaking at a meeting with the Youth Funders Network

In my role as the Program Officer at Youthprise, I have learned a lot in the past two years.  Youthprise is continuing to build momentum on initial investments and while testing strategies to advance our mission.  As a still relatively new organization, Youthprise strives to learn from our experiences and adapt accordingly – and our grantmaking process is a reflection of that growth.

Part of our learning process came from feedback from a community-led grant review process conducted by peers in the out-of-school time field who made recommendations on organizations that closely aligned with our mission.  I am pleased to share that the Youthprise board approved $1.7 million in competitive grants at their August 2013 meeting.

These grants are designed to build the capacity of organizations in the Twin Cities serving youth. Grant recipients represent a mix of small and large youth-serving organizations. Some are traditional afterschool programs, while others are new, culturally-specific and grassroots organizations. The grantees include two geographically-based cohorts: in north Minneapolis in collaboration with the Northside Achievement Zone and in Saint Paul with three neighborhood-based community centers.

I believe we are making progress toward helping organizations participate in community-based OST systems.  To accomplish this, we have reorganized our work around two strategic goals: Systems Building and Innovation in Youth Engagement.  We define systems as coordinated public-private efforts to bring structure, accountability, and cohesion to a network of programs, organizations and initiatives serving youth beyond the classroom.  Our approach to youth engagement is to create authentic youth/adult partnerships that value the input and expertise of both youth and adults.

Youthprise’s future grantmaking will reflect the wisdom we gain this year.  We remain committed to organizations that are aligned with the Youthprise mission and plan to make long-term investments through grants and partnerships, as well as access to technical assistance. We cannot wait to see the impact that our grantmaking strategy has in helping youth to succeed in Minnesota, and hopefully in years to come, across the country.

To learn more about our grantmaking strategy click here and to view the full list of 2013 grantees click here.

Rudy Guglielmo, Program Officer at Youthprise

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