Think Big for Kids

The Think Big for Kids Fund provides grants designed to stimulate innovative thinking and fund big ideas from nonprofits that serve children and youth in our community.


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, have identified strong needs for children and youth in our region and have issued calls to action. 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.

Additional considerations:

  • The expected range for awards is in excess of $25,000.
  • 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 consider funding any size organization; nevertheless, small or mid-sized organizations are preferred.


  • The applicant is either an IRC 501(c)(3) public organization, has an IRC 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 St. Louis metropolitan area is a priority
  • Regional or national scale of ideas are encouraged but viewed as secondary

Past Recipients

In 2023, we funded the following proposals:

Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective

In support of Perception Isn’t Always Reality: Mental Health, an innovative public health messaging model that facilitates collaboration between underserved Black youth, professional artists, and media producers to reduce stigma of mental health care among Black youth in St. Louis City and County through the creation and dissemination of a public service announcement (PSA) campaign. $121,798

In 2022, we funded the following proposals:

Kids Win Missouri

In support of the Missouri Roadmap for Child Care, a statewide initiative to advance Early Care and Education. The award is directed towards parent and family engagement in the St. Louis region. $150,000

Nine PBS

In support of Drawn In, an integrated media experience designed to encourage reading for kids ages 5-8.  Includes animated videos, comic books, literacy power hours with partnering sites and a multi-platform web experience. $75,000

In 2021, we funded the following proposal:

Generate Health

In support of the Preventive Services Network, which will enhance, scale, and connect preventive and early intervention services for vulnerable families through a coordinated, comprehensive, community-based system of support that improves infant and maternal health, reduces child abuse and neglect, and increases children ready for school. $240,000

In 2020, we funded the following proposals:


Building the organization’s capacity and sustainability in activating the community to redesign education, economic health, and justice systems to be just and equitable for all. $150,000

Health Equity Works

In support of the Missouri Child Development Account Coalition which consists of organizations dedicated to improving health, educational, and economic outcomes for children and families, proposes statewide legislation to provide an initial seed deposit into a long-term college savings account for every baby born in Missouri. $35,000

Youth in Need

Behavioral health advocacy and voter education to increase funding for the Community & Children’s Resource Board of St. Charles County. $25,000

In 2019, we funded the following proposals:


Developmental Trauma Center: Advancing Innovative Solutions for our Children: A regional hub to evolve the understanding of the impact of early life abuse and neglect on the developing brain. $100,000

Turn the Page STL

Collaborative Reading Initiative: To increase the number of children that are reading at third grade level. $45,000 over three years, fiscal sponsorship, and office space.

The Opportunity Trust

St. Louis School Finder: A free online tool that allows families to compare schools and, thus, allows them to gain access to understandable and relevant school data as a basis for their school choice. $125,000

In 2018, we funded the following proposals:

Youth in Need

Homeless Youth Coordinated Entry for St. Louis City, St. Louis County and Tri-County Region: A collaborative effort to convene, integrate, and coordinate the region’s resources and services to significantly reduce homelessness in youth and increase permanent housing for at-risk youth. $76,500

Wyman Center

The Connection Project: Bringing an Innovative Idea for Improving Adolescent Outcomes to Scale: An effort to regionally and nationally scale and replicate an innovative, research-based intervention to build social connections and a sense of belonging for high-school teens. $125,000

In 2017, we funded the following proposals:

The Full Frame Initiative

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. $175,000

St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation

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. $75,000

Vision for Children at Risk

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. $75,000