Think Big for Kids Grant Guidelines

Think Big For KidsThink Big for Kids grants are designed to stimulate innovative thinking and fund big ideas that serve children and youth in our community. In 2017, we funded the following proposals:

  • The Full Frame Initiative for Kids Deserve Wellbeing: A collaboration between area courts, government agencies and the nonprofit community to align, change and achieve better outcomes in the public child welfare system;
  • Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation for Victims of Violence: A violence prevention program to transform the lives of children and youth that come into the emergency room as a result of gunshot wounds or other violent acts;
  • Vision for Children at Risk for Building an Early Childhood System: An effort of the Regional Early Childhood Council that brings together the fragmented services and support for young children in our community.

Grant Requirements

Think Big for Kids seeks to fund proposals that are bold, innovative or ambitious and that are transformative for the community of children and youth.

In recent years, a number of community wide master plans or needs assessments, such as For the Sake of All, Forward through Ferguson, Ready by 21, and Missouri Kids Count, have identified strong needs for children and youth in our region and have issued calls to action. Examples for the issues highlighted by these reports include but are not limited to:

  • Quality early childhood development;
  • coordinated school health programs;
  • mental health awareness, screening, treatment, and surveillance including for substance abuse and teenage suicide;
  • childhood hunger;
  • child/youth homelessness;
  • substantiated child abuse/neglect and number of children (re)entering state custody.

Think Big for Kids is looking for proposals from applicants that utilize these reports as a launching point for their big idea and that show how they, alone or in collaboration with others, will measurably contribute to solving the problem.

Funding Eligibility

  • The applicant is either an IRC section 501(c)(3) public organization, has an IRC section 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, or is a governmental organization.
  • The application is for a project or organization(s) serving children or youth
    • Impact on the Saint Louis metropolitan area is a priority
    • Regional or national scale are encouraged but viewed as secondary

Additional Considerations

  • The expected range for awards is in excess of $25,000.
  • We intend to fund proposals for one year; nevertheless, we will consider multi-year proposals.
  • The project may be unproven or seen as risky.
  • The grant is generally not intended to fund start-up organizations.
  • The grant is not intended to fund traditional capacity building projects or capital campaigns.
  • The grant is not intended to fund the routine expansion of an existing program.
  • We may refer applicants to other funders when there is a strong fit.
  • We consider funding any size organization; nevertheless, small or mid-sized organizations are preferred.


Letters of Intent are accepted beginning September 12, 2017.

  • Letters of Intent received by December 31, 2017 will be considered in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Letters of Intent received by March 31, 2018 will be considered in the second quarter of 2018.
  • Letters of Intent received by June 30, 2018 will be considered in the third quarter of 2018.

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