Contact Information

615 1st Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413 - 2447
(612) 564-4858 6
FY 2015 Social Innovation Fund

Executive Summary

Description of Partnership - OPPORTUNITY REBOOT is an initiative led by Youthprise, a Minnesota (MN)-based grantmaking intermediary. Founded by the McKnight Foundation, Youthprise's mission is to champion learning beyond the classroom so all MN's youth thrive.

Priority Areas and Geographic Area -- A geographically-based Social Innovation Fund (SIF), Youthprise will address the focus areas of Youth Development and Economic Opportunities. The Youthprise SIF will serve Hennepin and Ramsey counties, and other areas in Greater MN, some of which are rural and philanthropically underserved.

Partnering Organizations - MN Department of Employment and Economic Development's Office of Youth Development (DEED), Search Institute, and Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM) will serve as core partners.

Amount Requested, Grant Period, and Source of Matching Funds - We are requesting approximately $1 million annually for five years, totaling $5 million. Youthprise will apply funds from a recent unrestricted appropriation from the McKnight Foundation to meet the $1 million match requirement.


Overview of Proposed Program and Need -- OPPORTUNITY REBOOT focuses on leveraging the capacity and strengths of existing workforce programs to more effectively create pathways to school, career and life success for opportunity youth by expanding services and integrating an intentional, systematic focus on social and emotional development, including 21st century skills. 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. The program will meet the need for additional programming to accommodate more youth who seek workforce development programs. Through training, technical assistance, facilitated peer learning opportunities, data feedback loops as part of continuous improvement, and other support, this program aims to strengthen the capacity of additional programs, enabling them to expand their services to more youth, while also increasing their effectiveness through successfully applying a Career Pathways framework.

Theory of Change & Outcomes -- Our Theory of Change has an ultimate goal of ensuring that a greater number of opportunity youth in MN 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. We believe existing models can be enhanced in terms of both reach and impact through a more intentional focus on enhancing the social and emotional skills and supports (sometimes called "soft skills") of opportunity youth.

Overview of the Proposed Subrecipient Portfolio Strategy - The Youthprise SIF will use a competitive RFP process to make award determinations. Criteria will ensure that each successful applicant's mission and program activities align with SIF goals and that each has the capacity to engage in some level of evaluation activities and is positioned to secure matching funds. To ensure that program growth, partners will implement a multiyear technical assistance plan that includes building subgrantees capacity to collect data and use this data toward evaluating and growing their programs.

Description of Partners -- Youthprise has considerable experience in grants management and administration for private and federal grants. Youthprise will take the lead role in administering subgrants, selecting and overseeing the activities of subgrantees, project reporting and other administrative and managerial task. DEED has extensive knowledge in youth workforce development and is the state lead for the state's WorkForce Center System. DEED will play a major role in the subgrantee selection process and capacity building activities. Search Institute, which will serve as lead evaluation partner, will work closely with CNCS to develop an approved evaluation plan. For 50 years, Search Institute has been a national leader in bridging research and practice in positive youth development. Nationally recognized for its work, MPM is our state's leader in advocating, educating, and setting quality standards for mentoring. MPM will support the delivery of trainings and technical assistance to staff, volunteers and youth to work effectively together.

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