SparkYouth NYC 10th Cohort Application (2025-27)

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SparkYouth NYC is currently soliciting proposals for participation in its 10th Cohort, which will commence in January 2025. Selected organizations will receive three years of general operating support, ranging from approximately $50,000-$80,000 per year; be a part of a supportive cohort of peer organizations; and participate in SparkYouth’s Cofactor Lab, a unique program designed to build the capacity and long-term sustainability of nonprofit organizations in the areas of people, practices, and resources.

The following RFP is due on Friday March 8th, 2024 at 5:00PM. A review committee will narrow the pool and select organizations for in-person site visits in April and May 2024. Final selection will be made during the summer of 2024.

SparkYouth NYC is a grant-making nonprofit organization that ignites growth in community-based programs to expand opportunities for the young people of New York City. We work with second-stage youth development organizations that demonstrate excellence and are poised for expansion. SparkYouth’s investment in these programs at a critical moment in their trajectory ensures that every young person in NYC finds their spark.  

Every three years, SparkYouth NYC selects a group of organizations to become “grantee organizations” in a cohort. Selected organizations receive three years of general operating support (from January 1, 2025 to December 31, 2027). Because SparkYouth raises funds each year from its supporters to distribute to its grantees, the actual amount distributed varies from year to year, but has recently been in the range of $50,000-$80,000 per calendar year. Grantee organizations also build their long-term organizational resilience via SparkYouth’s Cofactor Lab, which provides intensive technical and capacity building assistance to grantees. Finally, grantee organizations engage with one another in a cohort model to share resources, address challenges, and foster collaboration to maximize their impact for young people in New York City.

You can learn more about SparkYouth’s model here.

Applicant organizations must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible. Organizations must:

  • Have as their primary mission the provision of direct services to underserved children or teens for a period of time sufficient to enhance education or life skills and constitute a life-transforming activity; 

  • Have an FY24 operating budget between $150,000 and $1.5 million;

  • Be a certified 501(c)3 non-profit organization or a youth development organization fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3;

  • Be independent and not a subsidiary or branch of a national organization, unless they are a wholly independent program; 

  • Be located and operate within the five boroughs of New York City;

  • Have been founded between 2014 and 2022 and remain in continuous operation;

  • Be working toward broadening the program’s services either within the population served, or expanding to serve more young people

Please note that SparkYouth does not fund religiously affiliated organizations, summer/day camps, or sports or arts programs that don’t have an academic or social-emotional learning component.  For more information please review our FAQs

If you have additional questions please email

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Only organizations that answer YES to all of the following criteria are eligible to apply to SparkYouth as a member organization.  

If you answered 'No' to any of the questions above please DO NOT proceed with the application.  Your organization does not meet SparkYouth's criteria and is ineligible for our 10th Cohort.  

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Fiscal Sponsor
If operating under a fiscal sponsor please provide contact info. 

25 words or less

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Supporting Materials (attachments):

If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact  Please include "10th Cohort Selection Process" in the subject heading.