Since 2009, a group of Chapel Hill based funders, including Strowd Roses and the Oak Foundation, have been working toward a common goal of identifying ways in which the philanthropic community may better support area nonprofits serving at-risk youth. Through the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers (NCNG), the group formed a funder collaborative and launched the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Youth Services Initiative to learn more about the state of services for youth in Chapel Hill and Carrboro and explore how the philanthropic community could better support providers trying to reach underserved and at-risk youth populations.
In pursuit of their objectives, the funders retained an area consultant in 2011 to conduct a scan of nonprofit youth service providers in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities. One objective of the scan was to collect information that would inform development of a community map of nonprofit and government youth service providers that would serve as a resource for the community, in particular, school personnel (e.g., family specialists, guidance counselors, etc.), mentors, counselors, and other professionals working with youth, and parents, to help identify services for youth and organizations that provide them. With the information gathered in the first phase of the project, the funder collaborative engaged a second consultant in 2012 to coordinate activities that would result in establishment of a long-term sustainable system that would support the Chapel Hill and Carrboro nonprofit community serving youth. Activities undertaken to date have resulted in development of a website, www.chcyouth.org, which serves as a central resource community directory of service providers working with Chapel Hill and Carrboro youth between five and 20 years of age. In addition to the engagement of area youth service providers in the www.chcyouth.org website, outreach to potential funders has resulted in commitments to support a third phase of the initiative. Plans are also underway to hire a full-time director to oversee the project. The director will be charged with several priorities related to the initiative now known as Youth Forward:
- Managing and maintaining the www.chcyouth.org website to serve as a central resource for sharing information and identifying community resources for youth, and provide a database of information about nonprofit organizations serving youth that can help inform funding decisions.
- Establish and manage a re-grant fund to maximize effective and efficient grantmaking: The initiative proposes to establish a re-granting pool available to 501(c)(3) nonprofits serving youth ages five to 20 in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities.
- Facilitate provision of technical assistance to area nonprofit youth service providers
- Increasing awareness of the initiative among organizations serving youth, professionals working with youth (especially those making referrals to other youth serving organizations), parents, and schools is critical to the success of the initiative’s mission of reaching all youth and particularly those who are underserved.
- Generating interest and support from Chapel Hill’s wealth of private and individual funders is equally important. Community investment in the initiative will be necessary to sustain the re-grant fund as well as the initiative staff position, a potentially tremendous asset to area nonprofits that is currently not available to the community.
- Identify a permanent host location
For more information, please contact Tabitha Blackwell (email@example.com) or call 919-967-7410.