GradNation Acceleration Grant
Funding Opportunity Background
In 2010, America’s Promise, along with its campaign co-conveners, set the national goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2020 and created the GradNation campaign to mobilize efforts towards that goal. Over the past several years, practitioners and youth-serving organizations have refined the practices, policies, and relationships needed to successfully support young people to high school completion. In addition, they have collectively deepened their knowledge of the barriers young people face in reaching that milestone.
With a national graduation rate of 83.2 percent in 2015, progress has been made and a continued urgent commitment is necessary to accelerate progress towards 90 percent. Progress for young people is happening at the state and community levels, in collaboration with schools. The GradNation Acceleration Grant is intended to support existing state- and community-level efforts that are poised to support even more young people.
With generous support from AT&T, America’s Promise will invest in two states and three communities to support more young people toward the critical milestone of high school graduation.
America’s Promise will fund proposals from two eligible state organizations and three eligible community organizations.
State organizations: a state-level government agency, statewide nonprofit, or statewide community-based organization, and may include existing coalitions or association/membership groups in one of the 10 priority states. Each applicant must be able to demonstrate its role as a “statewide convener” with the ability to facilitate cross-sector collaboration and leverage key state assets to support policies and programs consistent with the GradNation Action Platform.
Community organizations: a local nonprofit or community-based organization, including existing coalitions and association/membership groups that primarily serve a neighborhood, city, county, or community in one of the 10 priority states. Local government agencies (e.g., local educational agencies) and educational foundations may apply. Each applicant must be able to demonstrate its role as a “local convener” with the ability to facilitate cross-sector collaboration and leverage key local assets to support policies and programs consistent with the GradNation Action Platform.
- State awards are up to $125,000 per year for two years for a total of up to $250,000.
- Community awards are up to $50,000 per year for two years for a total of up to $100,000.
Submission Due Date
All application materials must be submitted by midnight EST on November 8, 2017.
Applicants will insert all application documents through the America’s Promise Grant Application Portal. Please register as a new user and continue with the application process.
The following template files are available for drafting purposes. Only final content submitted in the Grant Application Portal will be accepted for review.
- Application template (content is the same as what is in the Grant Application Portal; final version must be submitted in Grant Application Portal)
- Scope of Work template (final version must be included as an attachment in the Grant Application Portal)
- Budget and Budget Narrative template (final version must be included as an attachment in the Grant Application Portal)
America’s Promise Alliance, with partner organizations with expertise in the GradNation Action Platform areas, will evaluate proposals using the review criteria included in this application package. Panels of three individuals will evaluate each proposal, score each proposal, and come together to determine which proposals should be funded in each category (state-level and community-level grants).
Applicants are encouraged to review the GradNation Acceleration Grant Review Rubric as they draft proposals.
Accelerate Graduation Rate Progress through the GradNation Action Platform
Accelerate Progress in Priority States
America’s Promise Alliance seeks to support local efforts poised to impact high school completion and the national graduation rate. Overall, proposals should describe a state- or community-level effort that demonstrates (1) an understanding of school-level and community-level graduation rates and related data, (2) a collaborative relationship with high school(s) and/or the district, and (3) a commitment to meet the needs of students most at-risk of not graduating: low-income students, Black and Hispanic/ Latino students, students with disabilities, English-language learners, and those served by low-graduation rate high schools.
America’s Promise will fund two states and three communities in the 10 priority states that are poised to accelerate their impact on young people in one or more of the six priority areas in the GradNation Action Platform.
The GradNation Action Platform
Together with partners working with young people across the country, America’s Promise developed the GradNation Action Platform to serve as a framework for the type of work a community must do to graduate from high school graduation – a key milestone to ensure a young person’s economic opportunity and life success.
Proposals must directly relate to one or more of the GradNation Action Platform areas.
For more information on the GradNation Action Platform, visit here.
Based on quantitative and qualitative analysis, America’s Promise selected the following 10 states to prioritize acceleration activities to raise the graduation rate:
- 1. California
- 2. Colorado
- 3. Florida
- 4. Georgia
- 5. Michigan
- 6. New Mexico
- 7. North Carolina
- 8. Oregon
- 9. Pennsylvania
- 10. Washington
Progress in these states would make compelling national progress. If these 10 priority states achieved a 90 percent graduation rate, an additional 131,968 students would need to graduate and the national graduation rate would increase to 85.9 percent. Of these students, 119,499 are low-income students (90 percent), 40,297 are Black (30 percent), 54,801 are Hispanic (41 percent), 46,351 are students with disabilities (35 percent), and 34,144 are English learners (26 percent). See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on the analysis.
- Increased graduation rates.
- Shared learning for adoption and replication in other states and communities.
- Strengthened local capacity to improve outcomes for young people based on young people’s needs and strengths.
Expectations of Grantee During Project Period
- Attend convenings with other grantees.
- Provide quarterly progress reports and participate in quarterly progress calls; participate in annual onsite visits.
- Share success stories with the GradNation learning community and public forums, including cooperation with America’s Promise Alliance digital and media efforts.
Support for Acceleration Site Grantees
- Biannual opportunities to collaborate with other grantees on implementation, partner development, and measuring progress and success.
- Media and digital communications support to disseminate best practices and connect with other communities.
- Connections with the more than 400 partner organizations in America’s Promise Alliance that are committed to improving outcomes for youth.