Contact Information

615 1st Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413 - 2447
(612) 564-4858 6
Social Innovation Fund 2014

Executive Summary

Youthprise is a Minnesota (MN)-based grantmaking intermediary founded by the McKnight Foundation that manages a $4.2 million annual grantmaking portfolio. Youthprise's mission is to champion learning beyond the classroom so all MN's youth thrive. As an innovative philanthropy, we strategically combine funding, capacity building, policy advocacy, research and modeling youth engagement under one roof. This unique combination creates efficiencies, accelerates implementation and produces greater impact. Youthprise invests directly in youth-serving organizations and initiatives and seeks to align efforts across city, regional and state systems that impact youth.

A geographically-based Social Innovation Fund (SIF), Youthprise will address the focus areas of Youth Development and Economic Opportunities. The Youthprise SIF will serve major population centers of Hennepin County and Ramsey County; and areas in Greater MN, some of which are rural and philanthropically underserved. We are requesting funding of $1 million annually for a period of five years, for a total of $5 million. Eighty percent of federal funds will be allocated for subgrants. Youthprise will apply funds from a recent unrestricted appropriation from the McKnight Foundation to meet the one-to-one match requirement. Youthprise has the required 50% of match in the form of cash on hand. Match verification has been sent to CNCS via email.

Youthprise's Program Design focuses on creating pathways to school, career and life success for opportunity youth. Opportunity youth are generally between the ages of 14 and 24 and are either homeless, in foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system; or disconnected from school and education. We have not pre-identified an intervention for subgrantees to implement. Prospective subgrantees will undergo a rigorous pre-screening process to prove evidence of effectiveness.

Youthprise has identified the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development's Office of Youth Development (DEED) and Search Institute to serve as core partners for this initiative. DEED has extensive knowledge in youth workforce development and is the lead for the state's WorkForce Center System. Over the past five years, DEED has sub-granted nearly $84 million in state and federal funds in accordance with state and federal regulations. DEED will play a major role in the sub-grantee selection process and capacity building activities. Along with Youthprise, DEED will also co-convene a collective impact initiative focused on opportunity youth that is linked to local workforce delivery systems across the state.

Search Institute, another key partner for our SIF, will serve as the lead contracted evaluation partner and will work closely with CNCS to develop an approved evaluation plan. For over 50 years, Search Institute has conducted both national and international research, and consulted with hundreds of community coalitions and thousands of schools, youth and faith-based organizations, governmental agencies, and others implementing positive youth development programs based on their framework of the 40 Developmental Assets.

Our Theory of Change is designed to ensure opportunity youth: Obtain a high school diploma or GED; acquire an industry recognized credential; secure and maintain living wage employment; and/or complete post-secondary education programs. To ensure the growth and achievement of at least moderate levels of evidence in pursuing the above outcomes, we will enrich promising models by delivering training, providing technical assistance and facilitating peer learning opportunities focused on proven strategies related to positive youth development. We will use research validated instruments to track progress and make data informed program adaptations to strengthen models in Years 1 and 2. Years 3 through 5 will involve a longitudinal quasi-experimental study to evaluate evidence of effectiveness.

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