Youth Opportunity Fund

The Youth Opportunity Fund, led by the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise Alliance, provides grants to nonprofits working in innovative ways to place low-income young adults on a path towards college and career success in 10 cities across the United States: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, St. Louis, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The Fund is part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, which is comprised of programs and initiatives that are helping urban youth build an entrepreneurial mindset, acquire leadership, financial, and workplace skills, and begin to engage in the formal economy through a first job. In the U.S., as part of Pathways to Progress, the Citi Foundation made a three‐year, $50 million commitment to boost the career readiness of 100,000 low‐income youth.

America's Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest network of national organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth, provides technical assistance and convenes grantees to collaborate on the most effective ways to expand youth economic opportunity in their communities.

In 2015, the Citi Foundation and America’s Promise selected 12 organizations as inaugural grant recipients of the Youth Opportunity Fund. Each grantee is implementing an innovative program that will increase the employability of young people and connect them to economic opportunities in their cities. Learn more the 2015 grantees.

In 2016, the $3 million Fund will award one-year grants up to $250,000 to a new cohort of grantees that empower youth to obtain skills that will allow them to reach their full potential and achieve their American Dream.

2015 Grantee News Features and Blogs

To read in-depth stories about these programs with photos, insights from organizational leaders and youth interviews, check out our coverage of the 2015 Youth Opportunity Fund grantees. 

How to Apply

We are no longer accepting idea submissions for the 2016 Youth Opportunity Fund. Applicants will be notified if they have advanced to the final application round in June.


Eligibility Criteria

Programs should:

  1. Reach a minimum 250 low-income youth ages 16-24.
  2. Use strategies that connect youth to economic opportunities in their communities through but not limited to: entrepreneurship training, mentorship, service/leadership opportunities, and/or work experiences such as jobs, internships, and/or work-based learning opportunities.
  3. Engage municipal government partners. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate evidence of prior relationships with municipal government agencies such as the Mayor’s office, housing authorities, schools, health departments and planning departments, etc.
  4. Focus on innovation. Preference will be given to organizations that adopt unique approaches to service delivery including but not limited to: leveraging technology, utilizing digital and social media, and/or collaborations with new and/or local industry partners

Grantees Receive

  • One-year grant up to $250,000
  • Technical assistance
  • Communications support
  • Networking and learning opportunities with other grantees



Please contact [email protected]

About Citi Foundation

Citi FoundationThe Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation.


Updated date: June 6, 2016