MBK Alliance Accepting Applications to Accelerate Impact for Boys and Young Men of Color

We are excited to announce we’re now accepting proposals for the first ever My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge Competition. The Competition will provide strategic support and more than $5 million in grants to help accelerate impact for boys and young men of color in select communities nationwide. Proposals are being accepted from high-performing nonprofit organizations in the nearly 250 communities that accepted President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, which was launched in 2014. Applications are due May 24, 2018. Read more below and access the online application here.

This Competition was developed to provide further support to the MBK Communities that have stepped up and answered President Obama’s call to action to develop new programs, policy and private sector action to drive change for young people. The Competition also recognizes this work is not easy, and is responsive to what we heard from hundreds of people in the communities that need capacity-building support, technical assistance, private-sector engagement, better peer-to-peer exchange, opportunities to learn from what’s working and spotlight when there is success. Through this Competition, we are responding to what we heard from communities that are committed to making an impact.

We will work in partnership with winning communities to identify and implement evidence-based programs and a specific goal over two years to reduce youth violence or leverage mentors to address milestone-specific challenges. While working to replicate or scale such an intervention, we will help those communities share results and build capacity to ensure the long-term success of this specific work and the broader local MBK Alliance effort.

The financial and in-kind support provided is not designed to supplant government or local philanthropy. Rather, we intend that the monetary portion of the grant awards combined with tailored technical assistance and outreach support will catalyze and accelerate the pace of impact and inspire others to get involved — from everyday citizens to public and private sector leaders.

We will host a series of webinars throughout the application period to answer your questions and highlight key application requirements. Register today to reserve your spot for one of the remaining webinar or view a recording.

What is the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge Competition?

The My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge Competition is a a pilot program that aims to grow the impact of community-based solutions with measurable evidence of improving life outcomes for boys and young men of color, while building the capacity of communities dedicated to expanding opportunity. The Competition highlights My Brother’s Keeper Alliance’s (MBK Alliance) commitment to investing in communities and organizations making steady progress that also have the potential to be proof points for what it takes to substantially improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color, particularly as it relates to reducing youth violence and growing the pipeline of mentors working in impactful programs.

What do Competition Winners Get?

MBK Alliance will select up to seven Impact Communities, that will receive:

  • Two year engagement led by MBK Alliance and implementation partners to identify gaps and assets, develop recommendations, and support implementation plan.
  • Access to implementation and content partners to advise on overarching Local Action Plan development and long-term infrastructure to sustain the work.
  • Between $100,000 to $500,000 over two years to replicate or scale mentoring or youth violence prevention interventions.
  • $50,000-$75,000 per year, for two years, in matching funds to backbone organizations for the purpose of hiring MBK Alliance Community Coordinators.

MBK Alliance will select up to five high scoring application to receive Seed Grants. Seed grants will be awarded to high scoring applications that we are unable to fund as Impact Communities and/or present innovative solutions that merit testing but are not quite ready for substantial investment. These recipients will receive:

  • Access to MBK Alliance’s implementation and content partners to advise on overarching plan development and long-term infrastructure to sustain the work.
  • $25,000 to 50,000 to pilot interventions in violence prevention and/or mentoring for a sub-population of BYMOC in the community.

Chicago & California Special Interest

  • As the hometown of the Obama Foundation, advancing the mission of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance in Chicago will be a permanent priority well beyond this Competition. Accordingly, a Chicago nonprofit will be competitively selected to be part of the inaugural MBK Community Challenge Competition cohort. Other Chicago nonprofits will have the chance to compete for an additional five Seed Grants.
  • The California Endowment has partnered with MBK Alliance to ensure two “Impact Communities” will be selected competitively from the State of California. This investment expanded the Competition from five to seven Impact Communities.

Key Program Requirements

  • High-Performing Backbone Organizations — This competition is open to high-performing nonprofit organizations that serve as the backbone of collective impact models — those organizations that seek to improve social outcomes by organizing cross-sector groups of partners to transform inefficient, fragmented systems. MBK Alliance expects organizations seeking to apply for the competition to work in close coordination and collaboration with the local government.
  • MatchMBK Alliance grantees are required to match the entire amount of grant award on a dollar-for-dollar basis. At the time of application submission, applicants must demonstrate the ability to meet 50 percent of their first year cash match requirement.
  • Complementary System Approach Review and ReformMBK Alliance is seeking to support projects that will not only provide direct service to boys and young men of color but are also advancing and advocating for systemic reforms in complementary best practices in the public and private sectors that will lead to lasting change for the youth served by the project and beyond.
  • Evidence MBK Alliance will seek to award funding to applicants that propose to implement program models that have demonstrated significant impact in improving life outcomes of boys and young men of color.
  • Collective ImpactMBK Alliance is interested in funding applications that utilize a Collective Impact Approach. Collective Impact is a model in which cross-sector coalitions form to identify a common set of challenges and evidence-informed and evidence-based solutions, and then work together to implement the solution.


  • Public Announcement of the Competition/RFP Tuesday, February 27th 2018
  • RFP Release Thursday, April 5th 2018
  • Pre-Submission Technical Assistance Begins Thursday, April 10th 2018
  • Deadline for Submission of Proposals Thursday, May 24th 2018
  • Competition Winners Announced Late Summer 2018
  • Funds Disbursed Fall 2018

Application Help and Technical Assistance

MBK Alliance and our partners will host a series technical assistance webinars throughout the application period to answer your questions and highlight key application requirements. Register today to reserve your spot for one of the remaining webinars. 

Need Additional Help?

  • Please be sure to sign up for our webinars and more information on the MBK Alliance Community Competition.
  • Read our Frequently Asked Questions here.
  • Submit questions here.