This week in Funding News: July 11, 2019

Young man speaking at MBK Rising!

My Brother’s Keeper Alliance hosts its first national convening, MBK Rising! in Oakland, CA on February 19, 2019. Please credit “The Obama Foundation” when posting. The photographs may not be manipulated in any way, and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, or promotions that in any way suggest approval or endorsement by the Foundation, President Obama, or Mrs. Obama without the Foundation’s prior written consent.

MBK Rising! 2019 (Oakland, CA) – Check out a recap of MBK Rising! here.

Welcome to Issue #22 of Funding News Weekly — your weekly connection to funding opportunities, tools, and grant makers that meet your mission. These curated opportunities represent potential investments and partnerships for MBK Communities to support strategies and initiatives for boys and young men of color.

Grant opportunities this week include: The Kresge Foundation: Boosting Opportunities for Social and Economic Mobility for Families (BOOST); Department of Education: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP); and Department of Education: Trauma Recovery Demonstration Grant Program

New Funding Opportunities

  1. The Kresge Foundation: Boosting Opportunities for Social and Economic Mobility for Families (BOOST) $$$Deadline: July 26, 2019 (11:59pm EST)

    Amount: $450,000 (8 grants available)

    Category: Education, Economic Mobility

    Geographic Funding Area: National

    Eligibility: Partnerships must include at least one community college and at least one nonprofit human services organization.  Human services nonprofits should advance the social and economic mobility of their clients using a two-generation, whole family approach and exhibit the qualities of Next Generation human services organizations, which:

    • Are person-centered.
    • Are outcomes-based.
    • Are data-driven.
    • Apply a racial equity lens.
    • Focus on greater sector impact and systems change.

    Community colleges must be members of the Achieving the Dream Network

    Description: This funding opportunity seeks to strengthen partnerships between community colleges and human services nonprofits that connect people with low incomes in cities to critical human service supports and educational pathways that advance social and economic mobility. 

    Complete RFP: https://kresge.org/opportunities

  2. Department of Education: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) $$$$$Deadline: August 7, 2019 

    Amount: $2.5 million to $5 million (8 awards estimated)

    Category: Education

    Geographic Funding Area: National

    Eligibility: States (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Freely Associated States.)

    Description: The goal of this program is to provide support, and maintain a commitment to eligible low-income students to assist the students in obtaining a secondary school diploma (or its recognized equivalent) and to prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education.

    *For this funding opportunity, applicants must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application. 

    Complete RFP: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-07-08/pdf/2019-14370.pdf

  3. Department of Education: Trauma Recovery Demonstration Grant Program $$$$Deadline: August 14, 2019

    Amount: $500,000 – $1.5 million (4-10 awards estimated)

    Category: Education

    Geographic Funding Area: National

    Eligibility: State Education Agencies (SEAs)

    Description: The goal of this program is to support model programs that enable a student from a low-income family (as defined in this notice) who has experienced trauma

    that negatively affects the student’s educational experience to access the trauma-specific mental-health services from the provider that best meets the student’s needs. The parent (as defined in this notice) of such a student from a low-income family may request services on behalf of the student

    *For this funding opportunity, applicants must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application. 

    Complete RFP: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-07-05/pdf/2019-14408.pdf

Spotlight: Presidential Leadership Scholars – Applications for 2020 Class Now Open!

Young men playing basketball during MBK Rising Day of Service

MBK Rising! Day of Service 2019 (Oakland, CA) – Check out a recap of MBK Rising! here.

Each year, the Presidential Leadership Scholars (PLS) Program selects a diverse group to begin a journey to hone their leadership abilities through interactions with former presidents, key administration officials, leading academics, and business and civic leaders.  This six-month commitment (from January through June) is offered at no cost to the Scholars. Tuition, housing, meals, and travel during the sessions in the host center’s city are fully funded by contributions from their program supporters.

Scholars put their learning into action through a personal leadership project, intended to solve a problem or pressing issue in their community, country, or the world. They gain the skills necessary to work across divides and develop a network that spans traditional geographic, professional, political, and economic boundaries. PLS challenges pre-existing perceptions and inspires the Scholars to lead lasting, positive change.

The curriculum focuses on four core leadership skills: Vision and Communication, Decision Making, Persuasion and Influence, and Strategic Partnerships. Spread over six months, the sessions involve approximately 20 days of on-location instruction and interaction, coupled with pre- and post-module assignments and evaluations. In addition, Scholars form meaningful relationships with one another and learn from each other’s divergent views and backgrounds.

Click here to apply for the 2020 Class of Presidential Leadership Scholars! Applications are due by 11:59 P.M. Pacific Time on Saturday, August 31, 2019.

Tip of the Week – A Interview with MBKA’s Cecilia Gutierrez about the Sister City Initiative in Miami, FL.  Here are tips on how to launch a Sister City Initiative in your community!

What is the Sister City Initiative?

Think of the place you grew up.  Which neighborhood was struggling and underserved? Which neighborhood housed the wealthiest residents?

Every city across the country has a promising, but challenged, neighborhood that everyone in the community talks and knows about.  Every city also has a neighborhood that is universally considered affluent. While these neighborhoods often don’t work collaboratively, the goal of a Sister City Initiative is to bring them together in support of one another’s growth and development.

The Sister City Initiative was created in 2013 as a way to bring together two jurisdictions in and around Miami, Florida: the Village of Key Biscayne (wealthy community) and the neighborhood of Liberty City (promising community).  The Initiative was an effort undertaken to provide better outcomes for the children and families of Liberty City while providing opportunities for residents of each community to grow, learn, and care about each other.

More specifically, the Sister City Initiative’s objectives were three-fold: (1) to provide better outcomes for children and families in underserved communities; (2) to provide opportunities for neighbors of different socio-economic levels to learn and care about each other; and (3) to create a local model for community & police dynamics that could be exported to other communities nationwide.

How did the conversation to create the Sister City Initiative begin? 

The leadership from Key Biscayne, and specifically Chief Charles Press, had spent years investing in Liberty City.  They were looking for ways to further their impact and quickly bought into the cradle-to-career strategy we were implementing in Liberty City.  Three aspects of the work appealed to them the most: 1) a proven strategy based on the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone; 2) a long-term investment in children and their families; and 3) a designated area in which all resources and opportunities were concentrated. 

Building on a solid foundation of trust and a shared vision, we asked ourselves: “Can we compel the residents of Key Biscayne to invest talent, time and treasure in Liberty City’s children?  And, if yes, can we set up a framework that formally guides and propels this work to continue far into the future?”

What was your process, and how can other communities model/replicate it?

The Sister City Initiative was established to cultivate a shared and intentional vision to improve life outcomes for the children of Liberty City. Partners from each respective community entered into the partnership with a commitment to equitable decision making and centering the needs and assets of local residents to achieve the vision. Here are steps for you to consider to replicate this model:

  1. Decide which communities to bring together in your city and determine if there is a willingness from the leadership of both communities to enter into a long-term partnership that benefits the residents of both places;
  2. Start by listening to the residents of both communities;
  3. Implement one or two ideas generated by each community listening session as a way to generate support and demonstrate that their thoughts were heard and valued;
  4. Be flexible, and allow the program and opportunities to be shaped by the residents;
  5. Establish a set of guiding principles to shape and mold the initiative;
  6. Host a walking tour of the neighborhood you are seeking to impact and of the programs underway to inspire deeper investment by residents of both communities;
  7. Communicate often with residents about the plan and seek continuous input, buy-in, and support;
  8. Start small, celebrate the wins, and build from there.

As with all initiatives, leadership matters.  We identified a handful of respected spokespeople in each community willing to promote the effort. More importantly, we partnered with influencers who had power and who were willing to leverage it to inspire others to join the Sister City Initiative.

What are the benefits of creating a Sister City Initiative?

This type of partnership allows a community/non-profit to 1) raise the profile of its work; 2) raise much needed funds to support its work; and 3) break down barriers, stereotypes and misconceptions about both communities.  By giving individuals with means a structured framework by which to invest in children and families, it opened a pathway for individual funders and investors to support the work happening in Liberty City.

Click here to learn more about the Sister City Initiative in Miami, FL. 

Upcoming Training and On Demand Video

Introduction to Fundraising Planning: pre-recorded, watch any time!


We love hearing from you!  Please continue to share your feedback and ideas with us.  We listen and review each response. Click here to access the survey.


Do you know of a colleague who wants to receive the MBK weekly funding newsletters? If so, please share this brief registration form so we can add them to the distribution list.  You can also use the same link to unsubscribe.