Small Grants

The Small Grants Program

The purpose of the Small Grants program is to provide support to adults that want to work with youth on service oriented projects. These grants are not intended to be donations to some larger cause. The project should receive a majority of its financial support from the grant, allowing for other minor donations or donations in-kind.

This is the calendar that will help you plan, apply, and be awarded small grants:

  • Nov 1, 2023: Grant submission window opens
  • Jan 8, 2024: Deadline for online submission of application
  • Jan 16, 2024: Notification of grant winners
  • Jan 22, 2024: Awarding of grants
  • Sep 2, 2024: Deadline for completion of grant projects

Note: All grant winners should submit their Completion Report immediately upon completion of your project. The News Release should be submitted immediately after your major grant related event.

Here are three types of projects that will be considered:

  1. Academic or Life Skills Development projects should enhance academic outcomes and/or life skills among our youth. Projects should involve family or adult volunteers.
  2. Community Service projects should encourage caring adults and youth to formulate and conduct small community service projects at times other than Global Youth Service Day. Community service projects should be short-term.
  3. Semester of Service projects encourages service-learning projects that extend from Martin Luther King Jr. Day to Global Youth Service Day. Such projects require a minimum of 70 hours of community service that is intentionally connected to learning goals and/or academic achievement.

Each project should focus on meeting at least one of the five promises in America’s Promise and offer youth learning opportunities while identifying and solving community problems. Each Small Grant proposal must also be endorsed by the leadership of their sponsoring organization (agency, school, or church) or by a supporting civic club.

Eligible citizens may apply for these grants by completing and submitting the online grant application prior to the above deadline. Winners must be able to attend the Youth Collaboration Reception in order to receive their grant. A web-based news release must be submitted following your major event. A completion report must be submitted within one week of the project completion.

Planning Your Project in Six Steps

  1. There are five things you should do prior to formulating a project:
    • Ensure you are eligible to apply for this grant (Click here).
    • Review the five promises listed on the America’s Promise website (Click here).
    • Look at example projects on our website (Click here).
    • Review the following resources on service learning (Click here).
  2. Formulate a project ($500 or less) that will help youth serve the community.
    • Organizations will normally receive only one grant.
    • Review the information you will need on the small grants application.
    • Select the type of grant you desire
      1. Academic & life skills;
      2. Community Service; or
      3. Semester of Service.
    • Decide on a project that will fulfill one of the five promises.
    • Determine the cost of your project by preparing your list of materials, determine prices, and compute the total cost of the project (Max $500).
    • Determine when you will actually start and complete the project. Also set a date for a newsworthy major event associated with your project.
    • Gain approval for your project from a senior leader/executive in your organization, or the endorsement of a supportive civic club.
  3. Submit your web-based application form prior to the deadline, providing the name, position, and contact information for the person approving or endorsing your project.
  4. When submitting your application, ensure your best e-mail and contact information is provided. We will e-mail approvals of grants normally by MLK Day
  5. You and a member of your grant team must attend the grants ceremony at the Youth Collaboration Reception. You will receive a check for your grant at this ceremony.
  6. Semester of Service andCommunity Service grant winners may also participate in the following youth contests:

Completing Your Project and Celebration

  1. Submit your news release with jpeg photos immediately following your major event using our web form (click here).
  2. Submit your completion report and news story within one week of completing your project.
  3. Once your project is completed, you will be contacted to setup a special presentation in your organization, honoring your efforts to help youth.

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