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Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits in Eligible Regions for Youth-Led Community Projects

Youth for Community Improvement (YCI) Fund


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Youth for Community Improvement (YCI)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Massachusetts: Worcester County

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/15/23 Save

Grant Description
Grants to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations in eligible regions for youth-led projects that positively impact the local community. Eligible organizations align with one of the following areas of interest: housing, basic needs, education support, and mental health support. Programs must benefit residents of Worcester County.

GWCF’s teen philanthropy committee, Youth for Community Improvement (YCI), awards annual project grants in areas they deem as critical in the community. The 2023 YCI cohort has identified the following priorities for this year's grant cycle:

  1. Mental Health
    • YCI is interested in organizations supporting the mental health of young people in the following ways:
      • Efforts that increase awareness, reduce stigma and/or provide education on issues impacting young people’s mental health.
      • Increasing access to care (efforts that reduce waitlists, connect young people to clinicians and especially those focused on serving young people who are neurodivergent).
      • Innovative programs in self-care and treatment options.
  2. Educational Support Programs
    • YCI is especially interested in programs that support the following:
      • Alternative pathways (Jobs training, education in the trade, night classes, etc.)
      • College support (guidance, access, navigating financial aid and scholarships, test preparation courses and fees).
      • Access to arts (programming costs, scholarships, supplies).
  3. Housing/Food & Basic Needs
    • YCI is interested in helping ensure all residents have access to their basic needs, especially in the following areas:
      • Organizations and efforts that distribute care packages of basic needs items (blankets, clothing, shoes, etc.)
      • Pantries and groups distributing hygiene items.
      • Efforts to increase shelter access & services (advocacy, program expansion, resettling new arrival and migrant families, etc.)

All proposals must speak to youth voice, meaning that the project/program/organization engages young people in an authentic manner on the scope of work.

Examples include:

  • Young people designing and/or running the program.
  • A youth advisory council.
  • Young people asking for the program to exist.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must be registered 501c3s or have a fiscal sponsor.
Applicants must be doing their work within Worcester County.

Operating and capital requests are not eligible.

Serving young people or asking them to complete a survey with no meaningful leadership or power is not in alignment.

Pre-Application Information

Estimated Size of Grant
Typical grant size is $2,000-5,000.

Contact Information
Apply Online:

Amaris Gonzalez
Program Officer for Youth and Families

Sarah Shugrue
Director of Grantmaking and Capacity Building

Jonathan Cohen
Vice President of Community Impact

Greater Worcester Community Foundation
One Mercantile Street
Suite 010
Worcester, MA 01608

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