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RFP Issued for Young Women’s Initiative Springfield Partnership

SPRINGFIELD — The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts is accepting applications for $150,000 in funding over three years from Springfield-based nonprofit organizations serving young women to partner with the fund in implementing the Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) Springfield Partnership, a national, multi-sector, three-year pilot program focused on driving long-term prosperity for young women in the city of Springfield.

The YWI Springfield Partnership will be implemented through the collaboration of the YWI steering committee, facilitated by the Women’s Fund, and a Young Woman’s Advisory Council.

The successful organization, or collaborative group of organizations, will lead and facilitate the Young Women’s Advisory Council, comprising up to 20 young women ages 12 to 24. Bright, self-motivated, and collaborative young women with a history of community leadership and personal achievement will be selected through a competitive, city-wide nomination process.

Through a year-long leadership-development program and ongoing relationships with YWI steering committee adult mentors, these young leaders will examine barriers, explore solutions, and make recommendations for policy and other improvements that address cultural, social, educational, safety, and economic challenges that young women face in the Springfield area. In addition to guiding the young women, working closely with the Women’s Fund, the selected organization(s) will connect with YWI efforts across the country to share best practices and coordinate research and evaluation activities. The partner organization(s) will also serve on the steering committee and network with other partners, funders, and the general public about the program.

Proposals are due by Friday, June 2. Interested organizations are strongly encouraged to contact the Women’s Fund with any questions about the program before submitting an application.

The National Collaborative of Young Women’s Initiatives is a collective national strategy that addresses core structural issues that keep low-income young women from experiencing robust health, economic security, personal safety, and leadership opportunities. In addition to the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, foundation partners include the Dallas Women’s Foundation, New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Foundation of California, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, and Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

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