The Oswego City-County Youth Bureau has a limited amount of funding available for mini-grants for 2021. These funds are, in part, from the NYS Office of Children and Family Services.
The Youth Bureau Board of Directors is soliciting proposals from not-for-profit community organizations in Oswego County to support projects that provide activities for youth during non school hours (after school, nights, weekends, school breaks, summer). These mini-grants will be funded with Youth Development funds.
The criteria for mini-grants:
- Not-for-profit community organizations include agencies, schools, libraries, municipalities, associations, and churches.
- Mini-grant projects may serve any age range of youth and any geographic area. In allocating funds, the Youth Bureau Board of Directors will work to serve a broad age range of youth spread across Oswego County.
- Mini-grants must be open to targeted youth who are not required to pay a fee in order to participate. Mini-grant funds CANNOT support any activity where youth or their families must pay a fee for a venue or as part of a program where a mini-grant activity would take place.
- Mini-grants must meet the definitions of Youth Development funds (see below).
- The project must be time limited, with a defined beginning and end.
- Projects should address the diverse interests of youth including but not limited to:
- Artistic expression (example: music, dance, writing, literature, drama, visual arts, etc.)
- Recreation (example: introduction to a new activity such as fishing, camping, snow shoeing, etc.)
- Leisure time (example: youth planning a dance or one day fun event)
- Educational (example: guest speaker or hands-on activity)
- Youth leadership (example: one day youth conference)
- Projects should have clear, measurable goals.
- Projects and all activities must be non-secretarian.
- Applicants are encouraged to partner with other local youth service organizations.
- Applicants are encouraged to use the skills, talents and assets of youth in Oswego County by involving youth in the planning and implementation of the project.
- Mini-grant projects may apply for up to $1,000 maximum.
- Mini-grant funds cannot be used for equipment, capital improvement, to off-set wages of existing staff, or to cover administrative overhead.
- Priority will be given to mini-grants that serve as seed money for future activities, and for projects that have a long-lasting impact.
These are some examples of successful Youth Development mini-grants that have been funded:
- Summer theme days at an existing program that serves a large number of children.
- Afterschool educational workshops
- Earth day project that involved youth in the planning and implementation
- Teen ambassador youth leadership event
These are examples of applications received that have NOT been funded in the past:
- Routine field trips to places that are readily accessible (i.e. field trips to the MOST, zoo, theme park, etc.).
- Field trips and/or projects that are routinely done and have been funded with other funding sources in the past (i.e. existing program’s annual camping trip).
- Proposals that would serve only youth enrolled in a program or venue that they paid a fee for (i.e. children in a paid summer day camp, children attending a festival that has an entrance fee).
- Activities that include fund raising.
Youth Development programs shall provide community-level services designed to promote positive youth development. Further provides that such programs may include, but not limited to: programs that promote physical and emotional wellness, educational achievement or civic, family and community engagement; family support services; services to prevent juvenile delinquency, child abuse and neglect; services to avert family crises; and services to assist youth in need of crisis intervention or respite services. Youth Development funded programs should include:
- Involvement of youth in leadership and program planning activities, program implementation and evaluation.
- Provide a range of youth in leadership and program planning activities, program implementation and evaluation.
- Provide opportunities where young people feel supported and safe.
- Focus on asset building by supporting positive values, social competencies, positive identity, and educational commitment.