The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation has announced that it will invest up to $42 million over three years in nine nonprofit organizations working to transform the life trajectories of the country's most economically disadvantaged youth.
Recipients include Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL), which was awarded a three-year grant of up to $5 million, including $2 million in the first year, to boost the number of young people in its summer learning program, increase its evidence base, and strengthen its capacity to sustain growth; the Center for Employment Opportunities, which was awarded a three-year investment of up to $6 million, including a first year award of $2.25 million, to build its service capacity in upstate New York and expand into new areas in California and Oklahoma; the Children's Aid Society-Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, which was awarded $3.5 million to serve approximately some 11,000 young people nationally over the next three years; and the Children's Home Society of North Carolina, which was awarded a three-year investment of up to $6 million, including $2 million in the first year, to expand and implement its Family Finding program statewide. Additional grants were awarded to Communities in Schools, the Children's Institute, the Gateway to College National Network, Reading Partners, and the SEED Foundation.
The grants were awarded through EMCF's new True North Fund, which was created to capitalize and expand programs serving low-income youth. True North includes $10 million from the Social Innovation Fund; $10 million in matching funds from EMCF, including $2 million to support evaluation; and a total of $17 million from the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Duke Endowment, the Tipping Point Community, and the Open Society Foundations. The latter group of funders awarded support to help those grantees that meet their own grantmaking criteria fulfill a portion of their SIF matching requirement and expand and evaluate their programs.
"By aggregating and delivering upfront large infusions of capital for building evidence and organizational capacity, we and our co-investors in the True North Fund hope to demonstrate a more effective model of leveraging private and public capital on behalf of low-income youth," said EMCF president Nancy Roob. "If our investments succeed, we will have made a major step toward taking to scale proven, cost-effective solutions to some of our nation's toughest problems, and made an enormous difference in the lives of thousands of young people."