Today, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for funding through the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWI MN). Grants are a one-time investment of up to $25,000 in general operating support to a cohort of 12 organizations serving young women and girls, ages 12-24. The grant cycle runs March 15, 2018 through February 28, 2019.

The Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWI MN) is a statewide initiative to create a Minnesota where every girl thrives and is the champion of her own life. YWI MN is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership between the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) and the Governor’s Office of the State of Minnesota. Launched in October 2016, YWI MN is driven by a powerful cross-sector partnership of government, businesses, nonprofits, philanthropies, and young women to build and ensure equity in outcomes for all young women in the state. Our definition of young woman is anyone who identifies as a woman, inclusive of cisgender, transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender non-binary people, between the ages of 12-24. This grant-round marks the campaign’s first year of competitive grantmaking.

YWI MN was designed by the Women’s Foundation with young women at the center and as key drivers of the work. To ground YWI MN in the lived experiences of young women and the community-specific challenges and solutions they identified, WFMN held listening sessions and commissioned a community action research process focused on young women from eight communities that experience the greatest disparities in outcomes in our state: African American, African Immigrant, American Indian, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latina, LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer), young women with disabilities, and young women in Greater Minnesota. Learnings from the action research yielded fresh and innovative approaches to issues of inequity, which became the Blueprint for Action. The Blueprint for Action will drive targeted and cross-sector solutions tailored specifically to young women who, data show, face the biggest barriers.

Through the RFP, the Foundation seeks to fund the following work to advance Blueprint recommendations that build pathways to economic opportunity and educate young women and men about healthy relationships, harmful narratives and norms, and promoting positive self-identities to reduce violence.

Organizations must submit applications online at WFMN.ORG and must register to access the web portal. Registration will prompt an authentication, which should take no more than one business day to complete.

The YWI MN grantmaking process engages members of the Young Women’s Cabinet and WFMN staff as members of the YWI MN Grantmaking Committee. The Committee reviews the grant proposals and recommends awards for groups that best represent the mission, goals, and values of the Foundation and YWI MN.

Organizations with questions may contact Jasmine Sánchez, program officer and grants manager, at jasmine@wfmn.org.

The deadline for application submission is January 12, 2018; grants will be announced March 1, 2018. An informational grants webinar is Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 3 p.m. Register for the webinar and apply at WFMN.ORG.

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