What We Do: Empowering Youth Through Grantmaking

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EMpower supports local organizations that work to improve access to and quality of education, promote better health and well-being, and enhance livelihoods for at-risk youth ages 10-24.

We look to fund organizations committed to youth leadership and gender equity.

EMpower funds local (or occasionally national) non-governmental organizations with a track record of effective work with youth, clear mission and vision, and strong commitment to, knowledge of, and respect in the communities in which they operate.

We fund local organizations that:
  • Ensure gender equality approaches in their programs
  • Have strong leadership and effective, dedicated staff
  • Employ approaches that address the needs of youth in their community
  • Commit to and implement good practices to meaningfully engage youth, including in decision-making
  • Have an appetite for learning, and to measure results and apply learnings
  • Have been in operation for at least 3 years
  • Have diversified funding and an organizational budget between US $70,000 and US $3M per year
  • Demonstrate potential for and interest in scale, partnerships and other ways to positively affect the environment for youth
A longer funding horizon:

Financial support in the form of grants is viewed within the context of a partnership. Initial grants are usually for 12 months. After several years, organizations may be invited to apply for multi-year funding if they demonstrate successful results, have solid organizational capacity and an effective partnership with EMpower. The maximum duration of EMpower funding is 10 years.

What we do not support:
  • Emergency or disaster relief alone
  • Land acquisition or construction of new buildings
  • Applicants for or programs focused on individual scholarships, stipends or conferences
  • Activities focused on students in university or other post-secondary education
  • Programs promoting religious beliefs
  • Lobbying: attempts to influence the outcome of political campaigns by candidates for public office
  • Research or treatment of specific diseases; programs focused on direct health care delivery in hospitals/clinics
  • Deficit reduction
  • Institutions that, in policy or in practice, discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, age, ability or sexual orientation

NOTE: Due to the high level of interest in EMpower funding and our own strategic prospecting approach, we do not accept unsolicited letters of inquiry or proposals.


EMpower has grantee partners in 15 EM countries

Grantmaking by Portfolio

Grantmaking by Region

EMpower sparks change with Spark & Ignite Grants

These small grants, awarded to current EMpower grantee partners (usually twice a year), encourage innovation and new strategies that include and empower girls. Past prizes have awarded great ideas for projects involving girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.