Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice

Contact Information

330 7th Ave
New York, NY 10001 - 5010
(212) 213-2113
Social Innovation Fund 2014

Executive Summary

TITLE: Bend The Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice

TYPE OF ORGANIZATION: Bend The Arc (BTA), an EXISTING GRANTMAKING INSTITUTION, was founded to affirm the historic commitment of the Jewish people to work for social and economic justice in the United States. Bend the Arc's grantmaking supports a wide, culturally diverse range of grassroots organizations. In the year 2000, Bend the Arc along with a group of funders committed to youth engagement, spearheaded an important project to build the field of youth-led community engagement, the Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO), which today remains the only national intermediary dedicated to increasing philanthropic resources for youth-led community engagement groups and to promoting the leadership of low-income youth of color in civic engagement work.

TYPE OF APPLICATION: BTA through its FCYO Project is proposing to develop The Youth Civic Action Network (Y-CAN), an ISSUE-BASED Social Innovation Fund, with a focus on YOUTH DEVELOPMENT.

GEOGRAPHIC AREAS: The FCYO Project will conduct an open, competitive, national grantmaking process to identify subgrantees. Subgrantees may be located in any community meeting the NCSA criteria as a low-income community.

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED: Algorhythm, a cooperative impact science organization that combines social science, outcome measurement, and next generation analytics and technology will develop a shared impact measurement tool to support Y-CAN. This organization is spearheaded by Peter York and Kim Sabo Flores, two renowned social scientists who have supported the non-profit and philanthropic sectors to use data to strengthen their work. Movement Strategy Center (MSC) will be the primary technical assistance provider working to grow subgrantee impact. MSC works to support leaders, organizations, networks, and alliances to be strategic, collaborative and sustainable. In addition, to extensive past work with FCYO, MSC has conducted major projects for The California Endowment, The Ford Foundation, The Novo Foundation, and many other funders.

GRANT AMOUNT REQUESTED: BTA is requesting $1 million per year for three years.

SOURCES OF MATCH: BTA is committing $500,000 in unrestricted funds towards the first year match. In addition, the following funders have committed to participate in our Y-CAN Oversight Committee to oversee the project and support our ability to raise the match: The Ford Foundation, The Marguerite Casey Foundation, The California Endowment, Arcus Foundation, Edward W. Hazen Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, New World Foundation, The Cricket Island Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, and The Hyams Foundation.


PROGRAM OVERVIEW: Y-CAN will identify 10-12 highly effective youth-led community engagement organizations. These organizations engage young people in inquiry and action projects to build stronger and healthier communities and in so doing meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of individual young people while preparing them for a lifetime of community leadership. Y-CAN will support these organizations to:

* Improve program models, serve more young people, and improve quality of services.

* Build capacity to collect, assess, and utilize data to inform and improve practices and programs.

* Grow and expand their organizations to achieve outcomes at scale.

* Build the overall knowledge base on the field of youth-led community engagement.

PORTFOLIO STRATEGY: The FCYO Project will conduct an open, competitive, national grantmaking process to select 10-12 subgrantees. Algorhythm will provide subgrantees with an online shared impact measurement tool that will enhance their ability to collect data on individual outcomes for young people and use that data for program improvement. Movement Strategy Center will work with subgrantees to assess program strengths and weaknesses, develop improvement plans, use data to codify effective practices, and develop a

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