innovation grants

RMYF Innovation Grants support untested, uncommon and otherwise unconventional services aimed at helping underprivileged youth reach their full potential. Following Albert Einstein's dictum, "If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." Innovation Grants support ideas that might easily appear radical or preposterous. Rarity is a good guideline to gauge whether Innovation Grants are appropriate. If your service is offered in numerous locations, it likely does not qualify for an Innovation Grant.  Through these grants RMYF aims to help identify new effective practices that lead to breakthrough results in supporting underprivileged youth. Only organizations that meet all of the following criteria are eligible for Innovation Grants:

  • Are US-based organizations with IRS nonprofit status.
  • Operate in one of these geographic areas: Baltimore MD, Boston MA, Los Angeles, CA, Madison WI, Milwaukee WI, Philadelphia PA, San Francisco CA, and Washington DC. 
  • Offer innovative programs or services designed help underprivileged youth reach their full potential. Innovative is defined as "uncommon, untested or otherwise unconventional" In other words, RMYF funds programs or services that are outside of current customary practices. Innovative services RMYF has funded include the following:
    • Credit union savings projects
    • An intensive weekend tutoring program for at-risk students
    • Book club for incarcerated youth that uses reading and writing to help them to envision a future that does not end with a cycle of incarceration or early death
    • Neighborhood tour guide program
    • Yoga program that works with the entire school community to create a less stressful and more mindful school learning environment
    • A program that provides talented, experienced teachers with support, incentives and a professional environment to help make teaching in low-performing schools a viable long-term employment option
    • Civic engagement after-school program in Spanish that includes an English language learning component.

Furthermore, RMYF gives preference to smaller nonprofit organizations, such as organizations with less than $3,000,000 in annual revenue.

These grants range from $5,000 to $25,000.

Start with the pre-application by April 30. From those submitted we will INVITE twenty to complete the full application by August 30. 


advancement grants

Advancement grants are by invitation only and are limited to current and former RMYF grant recipients that have demonstrated that their innovative services effectively help youth reach their full potential. If you are a prior year grantee and have further questions contact your board liaison or RMYF directly. Applications are due August 30 with monies awarded in January.
These grants range from $5,000 to $25,000.

innovation grant timeline

  1. April 30: Public pre-application deadline
  2. June 30: Pre-application results announced
  3. August 30: Private application deadline
  4. October 30: Grant results announced
  5. January: Grant money awarded
  6. June 15: Interim report due
  7. June15 (one year later): Final report due


preview our application questions

If your zip code falls within our geographic locations AND your organization budget is less than $3 million you can submit a Pre-Application.

Pre-Application questions for the Innovation Grant:

  1. Explain what makes your program innovative - describe the innovative components/approaches/strategies of the program/service for which you seek funding, where the innovative concepts originate, and what makes them innovative. Limit your response to 200 words or less. 
  2. Explain what you would do with RMYF funding and how this would meet RMYF's intent of helping disadvantaged youth reach their full potential by means of innovative services. Limit your response to 200 words or less.
  3. Have you applied before
  4. Number of  youth served by this proposed program annually

The full Innovation Grant application is by invitation only after being selected through the Pre-Application process. Click here to see the full Innovation Grant questions

The Advancement Grant application is by invitation only. Click here to see the full Advancement Grant questions.



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