Established in 2002 as “a personal response to the World Trade Center tragedy,” A Little Hope bills itself as the first national organization “dedicated to raising money to advance the growth of children's grief support and the expansion of bereavement centers, school outreach programs and camps for grieving children and teens in the United States.”
The nonprofit is grateful that other organizations have now also stepped into the fold, but it is also still committed to this cause, with a mission to “provide bereavement support services and grief counseling for children, teens, and young adults who have experienced the loss of a parent, sibling, or a loved one, regardless of the circumstances of the death.”
Its commitment to youth development fits squarely in this realm, providing grants to organizations that "utilize the peer support group model to facilitate children’s expression of painful and conflicted thoughts and feelings about the death of a loved one, without judgment." Most programs A Little Hope supports are bereavement centers and camps; storytelling is a central activity focus, expressing itself through "physical play, art projects, music and journal writing."
A Little Hope’s youth development focus area is narrow, but this is a funder that has deliberately expanded its giving. It reports that it has now funded 92 different organizations in 38 states, serving more than 250,000 children, youth and young adults--expanding its work well beyond the original tragedy that prompted its creation.
A Little Hope considers itself "a thought leader" that focuses on "creating innovative programs and initiatives." So make sure your youth development program is innovative in some way.
Though grant applications are by invite only, any organization is allowed to send A Little Hope a brief introduction in order to be considered for that invite. Instructions are on its website. And speaking of websites, A Little Hope will rely heavily on yours in order to determine considering your request, so make sure your website is well-designed and substantive.