COVID-19 relief funds are now available to support youth development organizations in Washington state—The deadline to apply is October 6.

The Washington State Department of Commerce is partnering with School’s Out Washington to implement the Washington Youth Development Nonprofit Relief Fund. This one-time investment will provide $9.3 million to youth development programs/organizations that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and which support young people who are furthest from educational justice. We expect to notify awardees in November and to issue payments in December 2020

Please review the RFP in full before beginning the application process. The RFP provides an overview of the Relief Fund eligibility requirements, application questions, and other key information to help you prepare your proposal.


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The COVID-19 outbreak, extended school closures and social distancing have deepened inequities and hardships for children and youth across Washington State. Youth development programs have quickly adapted their services to provide responsive supports for youth and families to whom they are deeply connected, including emergency childcare, social-emotional supports, academic mentoring, virtual programming, and even basic needs supports.

These relief funds address the financial and programmatic challenges that have come with COVID-19, acknowledging that lost revenue combined with increased expenses to adhere to COVID safety measures leave many organizations at risk of closing one or more programs or sites.

Basic eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be Washington-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations or be fiscally sponsored by a 501 (c)(3)
  • Applicants must have provided youth development services to youth (ages 5 to 24) prior to March 2020; and are currently providing or plan to provide services to youth through in-person, virtual, or direct support through December 2020.
  • Applicants must be experiencing a negative fiscal impact as a result of COVID-19.

Info Sessions

Recorded Sessions:

From September 29, 2020

View Zoom Recording > >

From September 24, 2020

View Zoom Recording > >

View Presentation > > 

Call for peer reviewers

We are seeking peer reviewers to participate in the grant review process. Reviewers will be asked to:

  1. Participate in a reviewer training
  2. Individually review a set of grants
  3. Take part in a small group review team to discuss proposals

If you are interested in this opportunity, please complete the Peer Reviewer Interest Form and we will be in touch with more information. You can also email with questions.


Update | September 08

Announcement: COVID Relief Funds Coming to Youth Development Nonprofits

The Washington State Department of Commerce is partnering with School’s Out Washington to implement the Washington Youth Development Nonprofit Relief Fund. This one-time investment will provide unrestricted funds to youth development programs that have stretched to support young people most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and furthest from educational justice. The COVID-19.



September 24, 2020

Online info session — 4:00 to 5:00 PM

September 29, 2020

Online info session — 6:30 to 7:30 PM

October 6, 2020

RFP closes!

November 2020

Awards announced

December 2020

Payments issued
Youth Development includes three primary types of programs: 1) Expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) such as afterschool and summer programs 2) Mentoring 3) Wrap-around services that connect youth with social-emotional and non-academic supports integrated within a school setting. Youth development programs emphasize the importance of meeting young people where they are- physically, academically, socially and emotionally – to help them build the relationships, competencies, and confidence they need to reach their full potential.
The application for Relief Fund grants is brief, and online. Eligible applicants will need to provide demographic information on their programs/organizations and answer three questions through fill-in fields and brief narrative. The questions address 1) youth served in priority populations; 2) programs’/organizations’ staff and leadership; and 3) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of grants awarded will depend on multiple factors, including: the total number of applications received; financial information included in the applications; equitable representation among priority populations statewide; and equitable geographic distribution.
To be eligible to apply for funding, programs/organizations must be a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization or be fiscally sponsored by a 501 (c)(3). SOWA will verify 501 (c)(3) nonprofit tax status on all programs/organizations selected for funding, before actual grant awards are made. Programs/organizations that apply through a fiscal sponsor will be required to upload verification of the fiscal sponsorship in the online application.
Grant sizes will range from $10,000 to $50,000. There will be no grants smaller than $10,000 and no grants larger than $50,000.
The online application must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.