Capacity Building

YouthBridge has developed this grant program to assist nonprofits in building, strengthening, and sustaining their organizations. This grant will focus on deepening the impact of nonprofit organizations located in neighborhoods where our impact investment partners are located. YouthBridge will identify one geographic area per year to focus our Capacity Building efforts. Organizations referred by our investment partners serving that geographic area will be invited by YouthBridge to complete the Capacity Building grant application. YouthBridge will then make award determinations.


YouthBridge Community Foundation will award grants to child or youth serving nonprofit organizations located in a geographic area served by one of YouthBridge’s investment partners. Grantees must participate in TCC Group’s Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT). Funds will be used to assist in addressing capacity building recommendations found in the CCAT.


Organizations are eligible to apply for Capacity Building Grants once they receive an invitation from YouthBridge. In addition, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Be incorporated as an IRC 501(c)(3) public charity.
  • Have a mission that is primarily focused on children or youth.
  • Be located in and primarily provide services in the specified geographic area within the St. Louis region.
  • Have been in operation for at least two years, including branches or franchises of national organizations.
  • Have staff leadership that has been in place for a minimum of one year or can demonstrate effectiveness in organizational leadership.
  • Have staff and Board leadership that are eager to invest and participate in the TCC Group’s Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT). YouthBridge expects that the grantees will follow recommendations and invest grant funds to address capacity issues identified in the CCAT.
  • YouthBridge will give preferred consideration to those eligible organizations with an annual budget of less than $10 million.

Past Recipients

In 2023, we funded the following proposals:

Gene Slay Boys and Girls Club of St. Louis

Funding will allow the organization to upgrade to a new website platform. A new website will enable them to have greater control of their website. The website will be user friendly, enabling families visiting the website to have a better experience. $6500

Hope Creates

Funds will allow this organization to obtain their first external audit of financials. Hope Creates feels that this will aid in them being seen as a responsible steward of their financial resources as well as strengthen their fiscal management capacity. $6188

One Classroom

Funds will support One Classroom’s implementation of Donor Perfect Online and Constant Contact email platforms. A customized, multi-function database will allow the organization to be more efficient and effective with their donor management. $7500

Ready Readers

Funding will assist the organization in improving their technological infrastructure. They will enhance IT capabilities, improve operational efficiency, and minimize downtime. Funds will support onboarding a new IT provider, update and purchase new laptops, migrate servers to cloud based or local server and migrate proprietary program database to a cloud based or local server. $7500

The Core Collective at St. Vincent (CC)

Funds will support the engagement of Mission Matters Group to train staff in implementing the Six Levers Framework. Mission Matters Group will provide consulting services to help create an Organizational Compass, a three-page strategic alignment tool defining the organization’s identity, direction, and priorities; a Scorecard for monitoring quarterly and annual progress on indicators and targets; and 6 Levers Training, a framework to monitor progress of The CC’s strategic vision, set near-term priorities, learn and adjust, and become a more cohesive team.  $7500

IFM Community Medicine

Funds will support strategic planning, coaching and transition services. IFM has engaged the Rome Group to providing these critical services with an emphasis on preparing IFM for the future. $7500

Flance Early Learning Center

The funded project is a series of five half-day leadership training seminars led by AAIM Employers’ Association for administrative and program staff, focusing on the topics of Defining Your Organizational and Leadership Role, Communicating for Leadership Success, Coaching and Managing for Better Performance, Delegation and Empowerment, and Dealing with Conflict. $7500

Our Ladies Inn

Funding will be used to replace an antiquated phone system. OLI is moving to a VoIP system which ties all three of their locations together into one system. This will ensure seamless communication between locations and increase client access to phones. This project request includes the cost for the end-user equipment and the VoIP services for 1 year. $7000

Foundations for Strengthening Families

Funds will support Foundations for Strengthening Families’ leadership team (Executive Director, Board President, and one Board Member) to attend and actively participate in the intensive week-long Let’s Build Hope Annual Fundraising Training Camp held October 16-20, 2023. $3000

In 2022, we funded the following proposals:

Springboard to Learning

Build the organization’s capacity by funding a strategic plan to identify programmatic, fundraising and administrative goals with action steps for achieving each goal. It will also identify current trends and the opportunities and threats related to those trends. The end result will position Springboard for increased strength to deliver programs to under-resourced students, making certain that the product delivered adequately meets the needs of those served. $7,500


Funds will support Homeworks board and staff working with Let’s Build Hope, a St. Louis based nonprofit consultancy, for a one-year Capacity Building and Training program. The program consists of:  Development of a case for funding, Developing a plan and implementation for board development, Creation of an Annual Fund Development strategy, One full-year of mentoring, Evaluating database capacity and creating needed reports. $7,500

Megan Meier Foundation

Funds will provide support for a project to revamp and reinvigorate the Board of Directors.  The agency will have a consultant provide board training and assist the agency in establishing clearly defined processes for recruitment, orientation, officers, term limits, and develop a board manual.  $7,500


Funds will offset the cost of an external consultant conducted comprehensive study/fit test to determine the long-term sustainability of an Emergency Shelter as part of a vacant hospital campus into a community center. Caritas has partnered with AltonWorks a philanthropic development company on the concept of an innovative model of community-based social services operated by Caritas at the vacant facility in Alton, IL. $7,500

The Child Advocacy Center

Funds will support interactive security and compliance training with real-life simulated scenarios to help teach staff how to respond in a challenging situation. The content addresses difficult and sometimes chaotic topics like phishing, malware, cyber security, sexual harassment, diversity and inclusion, discrimination, and business ethics. Also included is a 36-month subscription to KnowB4 Security Awareness Training and Compliance Plus for staff continued education and compliance. $3,200

Child Care Aware Missouri

Funds will be used to support the organizations work with a consultant to increase their messaging and marketing techniques to expand their fundraising opportunities on their website and in their printed materials. $7,500

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective

Funds will support The Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective board and staff working with Let’s Build Hope, a St. Louis based nonprofit consultancy, for one-year to develop an Annual Fund Development Plan. The plan will consists of: Development of a case for funding, create an annual development strategy with an annual development calendar, create an executive summary, development of a direct appeal and other strategies to increase donor awareness, cultivation and stewardship. In addition, team members will attend Let’s Build Hope’s annual fund development training camp. $7,500

East Side Aligned

Funds for East Side Aligned will be used in the development of a multi-year strategic plan that will guide their newly established and multi-faceted organization’s decision-making, scope of programs and services, resource allocation, staffing structure, fund development, and evaluation activities. $7,500

St. Louis Youth Jobs

Funds will assist St. Louis Youth Jobs to achieve their goal of revenue growth and fund diversification to create a path to sustainable growth.  To accomplish this, they have hired Let’s Build Hope, a fundraising consulting team that is focused on assisting them to create annual fund development strategies that include increasing individual, mid-level, major gifts and corporate support initiatives through cultivation, solicitation, an annual appeal and moves processes as well as board coaching on their fundraising contribution and involvement and the planning of donor stewardship events. $7,500

Vision for Children at Risk

Funds will support Vision for Children at Risks’ work with a Human Resource Firm. The Firm will support their leadership team and staff with ongoing training and coaching sessions, updated policies and procedures, and ensure compliance with federal guidelines. The Firm will also help enhance the onboarding process, and the ongoing training and professional development of all staff. $3,686

Wyman Center

Funds will support Wyman Center with the implementation of their new Youth Leadership Council. The Youth Leadership Council is a diverse collective of young people focused on sharing ideas, creating solutions, and putting those solutions into action with the support of Wyman. Youth Leadership council members will influence and advise Wyman’s direct advocacy actions, partnerships, and identified mission-aligned priority issue areas as part of Wyman’s Advocacy Framework. By creating a space for youth to authentically partner with Wyman’s staff and board of trustees, they will add to the organization’s capacity by being able to effectively include the voices, perspectives, ideas, and capacity of the youth leaders. Their work will help to expand and improve Wyman’s programmatic offerings and work overall. $7,500

In 2021, we funded the following programs:

Recovery and Resilience: Risk Assessment

Each agency received $5,000 to participate in a cohort facilitated by Risk Alternatives. This cohort guided each agency in establishing a Risk Assessment for their agency.

  • Provident, Inc.
  • St. Louis Diaper Bank
  • St. Louis Sports Foundation

Recovery and Resilience: Fundraising Capacity

Each agency received $2,500 to participate in a one-week fundraising training camp conducted by Let’s Build Hope. Agencies received education on fundraising techniques.

  • The Child Advocacy Center
  • The Sparrow’s Nest
  • St. Louis Diaper Bank
  • Megan Meier Foundation
  • Lutheran Elementary School Association
  • Hope Creates
  • Guardian Angel Settlement Association
  • Good Shepard School for Children
  • United 4 Children
  • ALIVE, Inc
  • St. Louis Sports Foundation