Innovation Grants Program

Seybert Foundation’s Innovation Grants Program will provide one-time grants for specific research or proof-of-concept purposes, intended for emergent or existing Philadelphia-youth-serving nonprofit organizations wishing to either a) test a bold new approach OR b) pursue a time-sensitive opportunity that could lead to significant change.  The grants will range in size from $20,000-$60,000.

Eligibility

Nonprofit organizations serving Philadelphia youth as their primary target population. Seybert defines “primary” to mean that more than 50% of the organization’s overall target population must be Philadelphia youth.

Priorities

Priority will be given to those projects or initiatives that, theoretically, could help an organization dramatically increase the impact of its services to Philadelphia youth, whether by altering an existing model or by testing a new model.

Primary areas of interest are projects that support innovation in the following areas:

  • Afterschool/Out-of-School-Time Programming
  • Juvenile Justice Reform
  • Education Reform
  • Skills Trainings/Workforce Development
  • Youth Leadership or Entrepreneurship
  • Youth Health and Wellbeing

Youth-focused projects outside of these issue areas may also be considered.

Use of Funds

Innovation Grant funds could be used for many purposes, including but not limited to:

  • Hosting meetings with key stakeholders to clarify the need or opportunity
  • Evaluating data and establishing key findings
  • Communicating the findings to relevant stakeholders
  • Crafting a strategy for next steps
  • Launching a cohort or running a pilot program

What We Want to Fund

  • Projects and organizations that have discovered new and better ways of solving pervasive problems that impact children and youth
  • New, high potential concepts for projects that require validation and can be validated for under $60,000
  • Existing projects and organizations that have discovered potentially highly scalable models that require testing and which can be tested for under $60,000
  • Projects and organizations led by entrepreneurial leadership teams who are skilled at testing new ideas cheaply and quickly 
  • Teams that possess rare operating knowledge in a particular domain or that have discovered counter-intuitive realities in a domain that will lead them to success where others have failed 

What Will Not Be Considered

  • Projects that do not seek to primarily improve the lives of children and youth
  • Projects that will not (at least initially) improve the lives of children and youth in Philadelphia
  • Projects and organizations with limited growth potential 
  • Projects and organizations that do not have economies of scale
  • Existing initiatives that have not discovered a new key insight that will significantly improve the project’s scalability, quality or efficiency

Application

  1. Preview the proposal questions: Download in Word or Download a PDF. Applicants are highly encouraged to preview the questions before submitting.
  2. CLICK HERE to complete and submit the project proposal. (Note: You will not be able to save your work as you go. It is advised that you prepare your answers and paste them into this form. While you are not able to save your work as you progress, you will be able to edit the form after you submit your proposal.) If you have difficulty with the online form, please email your submission as a PDF (preferred) or Word Document (also acceptable) to theresa@seybertfoundation.org.

Deadline

  • PROPOSALS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2021; 11:59 PM. Proposals submitted after that time will be held and considered for the 2022 Innovation Grants Program. 

Keys to Decision Making

  • Serves community in alignment to Seybert’s mission       
  • Vision (new and innovative for the sector and/or the community in which the project is based)
  • Leadership track record or evidence of leadership potential    
  • Catalytic (can drive change outside of just the organization)         
  • Demonstrated Commitment to Equity and Inclusion
  • Funding would clearly support new learning or information collection
  • Project Viability (proposed activities are clear and measurable)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If I am an existing grantee, am I eligible to apply for an Innovations Grant?
    • Existing grantees are not eligible to submit new ideas. However, existing grantees can submit a proposal for a “Repeatable Model Test”
  • Are organizations with a fiscal sponsor eligible to apply? 
    • Yes. Please indicate this on the application and provide the name and EIN number of the fiscal sponsor. 
  • Do organizations need to be based in Philadelphia to apply? 
    • No. The organization does not need to be based in Philadelphia, however the initial target population must be in Philadelphia.
  • Is there a chance that you will only fund part of my proposal?
    • The amount of funding requested is non-binding at the time of your submission. If we have questions or concerns about your project plan or budget, we will discuss them with you if your proposal advances to the final stage of funding consideration.
  • The Core Grant program is limited to organizations with an operating budget of $1.5 million or less, is there a similar restriction for the Innovation Grant program? 
    • No. Currently, there are no restrictions to eligibility based on an organization’s operating budget.