CY&F grants support Capacity Building projects that enhance operations, management and/or governance to strengthen a nonprofit agency’s overall effectiveness and long-term sustainability so it may better serve children, youth and families in our area. The intent of the program is to build organizational leadership and management capacity in a way that will help good agencies become stronger and more financially stable. For more information on Capacity Building, please visit the Nonprofit Resources page of our website.
In addition, the Foundation supports the concept of Positive Youth Development, an approach that emphasizes building the positive attributes and support systems young people need to be successful. According to positive youth development practitioners, the best youth programs nurture young people’s strengths rather than focus on negative behaviors. We encourage our grant partners to enhance their programming through a positive youth development lens. Additional information can be found here.
1.) Agencies must serve children and youth (birth to age 22). The focus is on underserved youth who face economic and/or personal barriers to success.
- Primary focus: We support organizations whose primary mission is youth development. Agencies that serve a broader age constituency may be eligible for a capacity building grant targeted toward youth-serving programs within the organization and will be asked to provide data on the percent of total programming directed to children and youth. The Foundation does not generally fund projects in public or private schools in CY&F communities.
- Content Areas: Successful grant applicants will be nonprofit organizations (or, in some cases, a program within an organization) who address such issues as early health and learning, literacy, academic enrichment and support, skill building, drop-out prevention, college/job readiness, or career exploration; or who focus on personal/behavioral enrichment including leadership development, self esteem building, mentoring, promotion of healthy behaviors, emotional health supports, etc. Agencies offering parenting education and parenting support programs are also eligible to apply.
- Program Intensity: We support organizations that offer a medium-to-high level of engagement with children and youth as determined by the number of hours and depth of contact the programming involves. We also support programs featuring a continuum of supports that encourage strong, longer-term relationships between youth and caring adults. Preference is for underserved populations.
2.) Agencies must meet geographic criteria
Nonprofit organizations must be located in Sudbury and the contiguous communities including Acton, Concord, Framingham, Hudson, Lincoln, Marlborough, Maynard, Natick, Stow and Wayland. Organizations based outside of these communities whose programming substantially benefits residents from one or more of the towns listed may also apply. They will be asked to provide data on the percent of total youth programming vs. youth programming in our catchment area.
In addition, nonprofits may receive one grant per calendar year. Applicants who received prior funding from the Sudbury Foundation must submit their final grant report (or interim report) before applying for additional support. For applicants winding down a current grant, please contact Foundation staff to determine the timing of the report submission.
Project Eligibility – Grant Tracks
1.) Grant Tracks
Applicants must be seeking funding for a project that fits one of the following Capacity Building grant tracks:
- Strategic and/or Business Planning
Examples: professional services for growth planning, organizational assessment and design, community needs assessment, market studies, business plans.
- Board or Staff Development
Examples: board skills and leadership training, one-time/special staff professional development opportunities, executive coaching, succession planning
- Fund Development Plans & Systems
Examples: professional services for structuring of fundraising programs, support systems and training
- Communications Plans & Systems
Examples: professional services for a marketing and communications assessment and the developmentof a comprehensive plan, support systems and training
- Program Evaluation
Examples: professional guidance to develop or enhance evaluation tools, systems and training
Projects should be aligned with the objectives and priorities outlined in the applicant organization’s Strategic Plan. If an agency does not have an up-to-date strategic plan, a capacity building grant to fund a planning consultation might be an appropriate grant request. Proposals should include clear capacity building goals, outcomes and measures of success.
The following questions will be considered during proposal review:
- Is the organization meeting a demonstrated need of at-risk children, youth & families in the communities served by the Foundation?
- Is the organization financially stable?
- Is there evidence of experienced leadership at both the staff and board levels?
The Project: Is there a clear case for support? For non-strategic planning grants, does the project align with the current Strategic Plan?
- Is there a compelling explanation of the need and how the proposed project will meet that need?
- Is there a cogent description of how funds will be used?
- Is there a reasonable timeline?
- Has management sought multiple consultant quotes for services and included scope of work plans with the proposal? (Recommended.)
- Has the applicant identified/or narrowed the consultant selection and if so, does the fit seem appropriate?
- Is there a clear definition of project success including measurement and evaluation of results?
- Is there consideration for how the work will be sustained after grant funding has ended, if appropriate?
Information Sessions: The Foundation will host information sessions to provide applicants with details on developing the Concept Paper, completing the Application as well as proposal writing tips and additional background on the Foundation’s initiatives. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 978.443.0849 by the Monday prior to the session.
Concept Papers: Concept Papers are required and should be submitted via email to email@example.com by 5:00 p.m. on the submission date. Staff will provide comments on Concept Papers as quickly as possible.
The Application: The Application’s cover page, proposal narrative and project/organizational budget must be submitted via email (as MS Word, Excel documents) to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 p.m. on the submission date.
Additional required materials (board member list, IRS Determination Letter and Audited Financial Statements) and additional optional materials (consultant quotes, promotional brochure, etc.) can either be emailed with the narrative as pdf files or mailed as a hard copy packet to our office at 326 Concord Road, Sudbury, MA 01776. Hard copy materials must be postmarked by the dates listed above. Incomplete or late proposals will not be accepted.
Updated January 7, 2019.