Is Your City of the 10 That Citi is Targeting for Youth Employment?

Child welfare and youth opportunity have been huge issues for a wide variety of funders so far in 2016. Just browse through IP’s recent Children & Youth funding coverage to get a sense of how foundations are approaching the needs of America’s youngest residents.

Now, one of the largest banks in the country has doubled down on a pressing youth cause. The Citi Foundation just partnered with America’s Promise Alliance to create the 2016 Youth Opportunity Fund, which will provide grants to support local programs that prepare today’s youth for tomorrow’s jobs. This fund was actually established last year, but now we know that it will be awarding one-year grants of up to $250,000 to youth-focused groups in 10 cities. Here are the cities that Citi is focused on right now: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

“The Youth Opportunity Fund is enabling our community partners to help break down barriers for young people and connect them to opportunities that address the social and economic cost of unemployment in America’s cities,” Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation, said in a press release.  “We look forward to continue working with America’s Promise and collaborating with local innovators to help young people reach their full career potential.”

The target demographic in these 10 cities is urban youth between the ages of 16 and 24. Like many other youth efforts that we are seeing these days, this one will take on youth unemployment and promote collaborations. Not only is Citi looking to get municipal governments involved, but also collaborations across different sectors.

The Citi Foundation has three philanthropic focuses: youth economic opportunities, urban transformation, and financial inclusion. Its overall mission is to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. This recent $3 million commitment is through the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, which has reached over 70,000 youth since the initiative was established in 2014.

Interested nonprofits working with youth employment in these 10 cities are invited to submit their program ideas to the Citi Foundation by May 2. Check out the Youth Opportunity Fund website for details on how to apply, to attend a webinar for more insights, and to learn about last year’s grantees as examples. Citi’s 2016 grant guidelines can be viewed here.

Questions about this youth grantmaking opportunity should be directed to