The Princeton Area Community Foundation’s All Kids Thrive Request for Proposals (RFP) and the Letter of Intent are now available. The RFP is available here. The Letter of Intent (LOI) application is available here.

On one measure of child well-being — education — Mercer County ranks 19th out of 21 counties, according to the 2017 Kids Count report.

Our children deserve better. And in our community, where philanthropy thrives, we believe that is possible.

Through the Community Foundation’s All Kids Thrive agenda, we want to make a meaningful difference for children and adolescents living in poverty. The RFP is one of several tools we plan to use. Among our other strategic tools are capacity building, advocacy, education for philanthropists and nonprofits, and collaboration.

Through the All Kids Thrive RFP, our goal is to strengthen and insulate the educational pipeline so All Kids Thrive from birth to 25. We will work to reduce chronic absenteeism in our schools, which is a major threat to achieving positive educational outcomes for our students. We also believe that a multitude of approaches could help reduce chronic absenteeism and improve student academic performance in our schools, such as initiatives that use college prep strategies, sports, the arts, literacy or homeless services, to name a few.

While we have high expectations for the All Kids Thrive agenda, we expect this new initiative to be a learning experience for all of us.

To begin Phase 1, we have opened the online grants portal. The LOI can be accessed here.

Before applying, we encourage applicants to take our Grants Eligibility Quiz, which can be found in the RFP.

The All Kids Thrive RFP represents 75% of our annual discretionary grant-making. Community Impact Grants represent the remaining 25%. Applications for Community Impact Grants were due earlier this year, and those awards will be announced in December. Nonprofits that applied for Community Impact Grants may also apply for the All Kids Thrive RFP, if they meet all eligibility requirements.

Applicants to our All Kids Thrive RFP must attend our Grant Information Session and Community Forum on Oct. 26 at the Brower Student Center at The College of New Jersey. This will be our only grant information session. At that session, we will tell you more about this new initiative and answer your questions. You may register for the forum here.

Also new this year is a three-phase approach to our grant-making:

  • Phase 1: Letter of Intent. Organizations must submit a letter of intent (LOI) through our online portal. The Community Foundation will review all LOIs and invite applicants to apply for planning grants.
  • Phase 2: The Planning Grant: The Community Foundation will award up to 20 planning grants of $12,500 each. We will evaluate the proposed planning grants and conduct site visits to determine which organizations will move to the next phase.
  • Phase 3: Implementation Phase: The Community Foundation will award up to 10 grants. Successful grantees may receive up to a 5-year, $300,000 commitment, depending on the nature of the project. Funding for each year of this multi-year grant will depend on successful performance of agreed upon benchmarks and any additional terms defined in the grant agreement.

More information about each of these phases can be found in the RFP.

The deadline to submit the LOI is Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm.

Planning grant applicants will be notified about grant decisions in January.