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 is launching 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).

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.

 

A New Fund for State Children and Youth Policy

To address the concerns articulated above, the Annie E. Casey Foundation is launching a new fund to support innovative approaches to advance state policies that improve outcomes for young people. While there are a broad range of policy challenges and issues that impact the lives of young people, the fund is seeking to support work 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 young people have and maintain permanency within a family system and are free of harmful government intervention, such as involvement 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, and the creation, expansion and modernization of state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs) and Child Tax Credits (CTCs).
  • Post-secondary education – This area focuses on state policies that address barriers to accessing and completing college and/or trade schools, including affordable childcare for student parents.

 

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 in foster care,
  • Young people affected by the justice system, and
  • Young people in immigrant families.

Funding Opportunity

The fund will provide state policy advocacy grants between $50,000 and $100,000 for a 17-month period (August 1, 2023 – December 31, 2024) to ensure that organizations have resources in support of education efforts that align with the state policy priorities listed above. Strategies that engage coalition partners and resource grassroots partners are encouraged, if applicable.

The Fund anticipates awarding up to 15 grants in late July 2023.

As advocacy campaign-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.

 

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 30 organizations to submit a proposal and to award up to 15 grants in late July 2023. The anticipated time frame is below:

Letter of Intent Phase

  • April 24 – Share LOI request and open application gateway.
  • May 10 and May 16 – Applicant virtual meetings.
  • June 5 – LOI due and application gateway closes at 11:59 pm ET.

 

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

  • June 16 – Full application gateway open
  • July 14 – Full proposals due
  • July 24 – Follow up questions sent to applicants (as needed)

 

Awards

Successful LOI applicants will be required to submit a full proposal. If the full proposal is accepted, successful applicants will receive between $50,000 and $100,000 for a 17-month grant term to ensure that organizations are resourced for the 2024 state legislative sessions. We anticipate making up to 15 awards.

 

Letter of Intent Application Information

Due Date: Letters of Intent are due no later than 11:59 pm ET, June 5, 2023.

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 regarding their LOI by June 16, 2023.

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 17 months, how this policy will affect outcomes for young people, and how the effort will center racial and ethnic equity and inclusion outcomes. Questions to address in the LOI are listed below.

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

 

Eligibility and Participation Requirements

  • Must be a nonprofit organization as defined by IRS code or in relationship with a fiscal sponsor.
  • State-based, policy organization that operates independently of government funding. This includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Only one LOI per organization will be accepted.
  • Willing to participate in bi-monthly technical assistance and peer exchanges.
  • 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.

 

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 program guidelines, including submission deadlines; and contact the applicant to discuss the proposal and/or request additional information.

Watch the May 10, 2023 Applicant Virtual Meeting

Q&A begins at 8:54

Watch the May 16, 2023 Applicant Virtual Meeting

Q&A begins at 8:52

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