Overview 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is devoted to making sure that all children and youth in the United States have a bright future. The Foundation is committed to using its resources to advance the most powerful set of policies – those that will help children, youth and young adults live safe, healthy, and financially secure lives. In 2023, the Foundation’s Policy Reform and Advocacy (PRA) team launched a new strategy to fund state policy opportunities in support of young people, ages birth through 24, in the United States and three of its territories (the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands). This 2024 award application solicitation will provide support for a new cohort of grantees.

 

Based on data from KIDS COUNT® reports and publications as well as other data sources, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s PRA team is concerned about current inadequate state funding and policies for basic needs, income supports and postsecondary education and credentials for young people. 

 

The Fund for State Children and Youth Policy

In 2023, the Annie E. Casey Foundation launched a fund to support policy changes in states to improve outcomes for young people ages birth through age 24. While there are a broad range of policy challenges and issues that impact the lives of young people, in 2024 the fund is seeking to support policies in three specific domains:

  • Basic needs – This area focuses on state policies that promote access to health and mental health care, nutrition and food security, housing stability, and ensuring that children, youth, and emerging adults have and maintain permanency within a family system and are free of harmful government intervention, such as involvement in the child welfare system and in the juvenile justice system.
  • Income and work supports – This area focuses on state policies that support access to paid and family medical leave and paid sick leave, access to quality, affordable child care, and the creation, expansion, and modernization of state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs) and Child Tax Credits (CTCs).
  • Post-secondary educationThis area focuses on state policies that address barriers to accessing and completing college and/or trade schools.

 

The fund is especially interested in work that addresses the needs of young people facing the most significant obstacles, including: 

  • Young people of color in low-income families,
  • Young people living in concentrated poverty,
  • Young people currently or formerly in foster care,
  • Young people affected by the justice system, and
  • Young people in immigrant families.

The inaugural cohort of this Fund resulted in 21 awardees with work concluding at the end of 2024.  You can read about the first cohort of awards here.

 Funding Opportunity

The fund will provide state policy advocacy grants of up to $100,000 for a 18-month period (June 1, 2024 – December 31, 2025) to ensure that organizations have resources in support of education efforts that align with the state policy domains listed above. Strategies that engage coalition partners and resource grassroots partners are encouraged, if applicable. 

 

The Fund anticipates awarding up to 25 grants in mid May 2024

As policy advocacy focused awards, we intend funds to be used to support a range of strategic activities within the priority policy domains including, coalition building, community engagement, strategic communications, staffing, outreach, or other focused activities that could be assisted by a one-time grant. NOTE: No part of The Annie E. Casey grant funds shall be related to any lobbying and/or political activities as defined within the meaning of IRS Code Section 4945 (d)(1).

 

Given the complexity of the state policy-making process, we recognize that efforts may not result in a desired policy change in this grant period. However, successful efforts should expand public will, advance knowledge, and bring new allies to the discussion. We expect selected grantees to track and report results through Foundation-administered surveys.

 

 Overview of Grant Application Process

To identify opportunities and needs in the field and encourage a broad range of applicants, we are starting the application process with an invitation to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). Based on our review of the LOIs received, we anticipate inviting no more than 40 organizations to submit a proposal and to award up to 25 grants in late May 2024. The anticipated time frame is below:

 

 Letter of Intent Phase:

  • Tuesday, January 30 – Share the LOI request and open the application gateway. 
  • February 13 at 3:00 pm ET and February 20 at 3:00 pm ET – Prospective applicant virtual meetings.  
  • February 29 – LOI due and application gateway closes.
  • March 15 – Up to 40 organizations will be invited via email to submit a full proposal.  

 Application Phase: Organizations invited to submit a full proposal can expect the following timeline:

  • March 15 – Full application gateway open.
  • April 12 – Full proposals due.
  • April 25 – Follow-up questions sent to applicants (as needed).
  • May 15 – Awards announced. 

Awards

Successful LOI applicants will be required to submit a full proposal. If the full proposal is accepted, successful applicants will receive up to $100,000 for an 18-month grant term to ensure that organizations are resourced to advance proposed work in 2024 and 2025. We anticipate making up to 25 awards.

 

 Letter of Intent Application Information

Due Date: Letters of Intent are due no later than 11:59 pm ET, February 29, 2024.

Review Process: LOIs will be reviewed by Foundation staff and consultants. We may ask for additional information to inform our decision. All applicants will receive an email response via Submittable regarding their LOI by March 15, 2024.

Evaluation Criteria: A strong LOI will express a clear window of opportunity or need (why now), the specific state policy/policies the applicant seeks to address in the next 18 months, how this policy will affect outcomes for young people, and how the effort will center racial and ethnic equity and inclusion outcomes. 

If you have questions, please reach out via email to Ami Nagle (anagle@nagle-associates.com). 

 

 Eligibility and Participation Requirements

  1. Organizations that secured a grant award through the 2023 Annie E. Casey Foundation Fund for State Children and Youth Policy process, and organizations that received a regrant/subcontract from a 2023 awardee are not eligible to apply in 2024.
  2. Applicants must be a nonprofit organization as defined by IRS code or in relationship with a fiscal sponsor.
  3. Applicants must be a state-based, policy advocacy organization that operates independently of government funding. This includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  4. Only one LOI per organization will be accepted.
  5. Awardee organizations must be willing to participate in bi-monthly technical assistance and peer exchanges.
  6. If awarded a grant from the Foundation, submission of all requirements through the Foundation’s Grantee portal and Consultant gateway and required interim and final narrative and expenditure reports.
  7. Any successful applicant that is a new grantee organization of The Annie E. Casey Foundation will be required to participate in a technical assistance call. 
  8. There will be an expectation that results in the grant time period will be tracked and reported on.

 

 The Annie E. Casey Foundation has the right to reject any or all proposals submitted; reject a proposal that doesn’t include all required attachments; adjust Fund guidelines, including submission deadlines; and contact the applicant to discuss the proposal and/or request additional information.

Applicant Virtual Meeting — February 13, 2024 at 3:00 pm ET

Watch the recording!

Applicant Virtual Meeting — February 20, 2024 at 3:00 pm

Watch the recording!

If you have questions, please reach out via email to Ami Nagle (anagle@nagle-associates.com).