Loans: Youth Development

Featured Loan: Glowmundo

A community-centered approach to building youth resilience in Metro Denver

$250,000 working capital loan (October 2022)

By forming partnerships with parents and educators in the Aurora Public School District, Glowmundo builds resilience and self-awareness among youth in Colorado. As part of its trauma-informed care model, the organization works with students, school staff, and parents over a three-year period to support the development of each individual’s resilience. In 2022, Glowmundo served 1,300 children, parents, teachers, and caregivers through self-esteem classes, teacher trainings, parent programs, and more – and it anticipates serving at least 3,000 clients in 2023.

With the expansion of its in-school programs and the addition of external programs, Glowmundo has more than tripled in size over the past year. However, since schools reimburse Glowmundo 60-90 days after it runs its programs, the organization needs to have cash on hand to maintain its operations while it awaits payment from the schools it serves. Offered through the Metro Denver Nonprofit Loan Fund, which supports the recovery and sustainability of the Metro Denver nonprofit ecosystem, NFF’s loan will provide Glowmundo with the working capital needed to keep running until payments arrive. By resolving this cash flow issue, the organization will be able to build a stronger infrastructure and grow programs that fuel positive change in Metro Denver classrooms, families, and schools.

Jovenes was founded in 1990 by Fr. Richard Estrada, a priest with deep roots in the Chicano Rights Movement and his Los Angeles community, to feed and shelter young people who had migrated from Central America to the United States. Today, the organization’s mission is to help unhoused young people across East LA secure permanent housing and become active members of their communities. As part of its integrated approach to addressing East LA's youth homelessness crisis, Jovenes offers life skills training, healthcare services, employment support, and more. The organization served approximately 500 clients in 2021, and that number continues to grow. In the past four years, Jovenes has expanded to work directly with unhoused college students throughout Los Angeles County.

Jovenes depends on government contracts for most of its funding. However, these contracts are paid after the nonprofit runs its programs and are frequently delayed, making it hard for Jovenes to keep sufficient cash on hand. Supported by the Hilton Foundation, this zero-interest loan will help ease cash flow pressures related to government reimbursement timing and allow Jovenes to expand its programs so that even more young people in East LA can succeed and thrive.
The mission of Philadelphia Police Athletic League (Philly PAL) is to help reduce crime in Philadelphia neighborhoods by providing free after-school and summer classes for thousands of youth ages 6-18. A civilian-led, community-based organization, Philly PAL offers sports and educational programming that some children might not have access to otherwise. They do this by working with Philadelphia police officers and civilians to facilitate sports and other youth programs across 17 centers. Philly PAL has documented a strong correlation between youth involvement in these programs and reduced youth involvement with the criminal justice system. Philly Pal promotes healthy, thriving communities across Philadelphia by encouraging involvement in local community programs.

Offered through NFF’s zero-interest CARE Fund, this financing will help the organization maintain a healthy cash flow and support the ongoing maintenance of neighborhood PAL centers. With support from this loan, Philly PAL will have the working capital it needs to invest in the community centers and programs that create opportunities for thousands of young people in Philadelphia each year. As they grow, Philly PAL will be able to cultivate more environments for youth to play and thrive.
Brooklyn-based Flex Dance Program partners with renowned dancers in the community who provide free dance sessions for incarcerated youth. By creating and fostering an environment of creative self-expression, FDP provides opportunities for youth to develop their self-esteem and further their artistic expression through the healing world of dance.

As they grow, FDP is looking for ways to continue providing sustainable youth programming and compensate staff for their time. However, FDP has experienced delays in government and private funding that the pandemic has exacerbated – hampering their ability to serve more of the young people who depend on their programs as creative outlets. Financed through NFF’s CARE Fund, which offers 0% interest loans to community-centered nonprofits led by people of color, this loan will bridge these cash flow issues and provide FDP with money they need to pay their staff and curate creative spaces of growth and self-expression. 
Youth Empowerment For Advancement Hangout (YEAH) is a Black-led, community-based nonprofit that works with young people in West and Southwest Philadelphia who have been impacted by violence. YEAH’s mission is to create safe and authentic hangout spaces by providing culturally relevant engagement and implementing teen-led interventions that address the root causes of violence. By acknowledging teens as the experts in their own lives, YEAH works to interrupt the cycle of youth violence through engaging youth as leaders in resolving conflict, building community, and promoting economic opportunities.

Since YEAH’s programs have grown significantly in a brief amount of time, they need to hire more staff. Offered through NFF’s zero-interest CARE Fund, this loan will allow YEAH to make necessary hires while it awaits expected grant funding – ensuring that the organization can grow sustainably and serve even more young people with its programs. With support from this financing, YEAH can continue engaging Black teens as leaders capable of building safer communities.
Sanctuary of Hope (SOH)’s mission is to provide a caring and multi-cultural approach to services that will help young people become self-sufficient and lead prosperous lives. This Black-led, community-based organization incorporates trauma-informed care into its model by creating an environment where long-term relationships with youth can flourish. With 100% of SOH’s clients qualifying as low-income, SOH addresses intergenerational poverty by promoting the value of higher education and housing stabilization to youth ages 16-25 who are child welfare or juvenile justice-involved, or who are experiencing housing and economic insecurity. SOH’s youth programs include short-term housing, academic counseling, and peer mentorship.

While SOH has multiple funding sources, it is experiencing delays in payments of government grants and contracts. This bridge loan will help to cover delays in contract payments and reimbursements while SOH waits for that funding to arrive. Smoothing over this cash flow issue will help them maintain and grow programs that build models of self-reliance for youth and young adults.
Six words: keep youth out of jail for life. That’s the mission of Urban Youth Alliance, a faith- and youth-based organization in the heart of New York City. The organization’s late founder, Rev. Faith Brown, believed that love never fails – including for those of us in gangs or struggling with drug addiction. So in 1970 she founded Urban Youth Alliance to reach out to and support the people in our communities who many turn their backs on. Today, the organization achieves their mission through a multi-pronged approach: prevention, through conflict resolution workshops and employment programs; intervention, through programs that work with courts to offer alternatives to detention and incarcerations; re-entry, through dedicated case management and employment opportunities for returning youth; and youth-led community organizing and advocacy around criminal justice issues.

Urban Youth Alliance receives much of its funding from contracts with the City of New York. However, like many government agencies, New York City agencies pay nonprofits after work is conducted, not before – and COVID-19 exacerbated delays in these payments that already existed. Supported by the Trinity Church Wall Street Grantee Loan Fund, this financing will bridge some of these delayed payments, ensuring that Urban Youth Alliance can continue to run its critical programs until government funding comes through. With more sustained, reliable funding, Urban Youth Alliance can hire more staff, expand its programs, and keep more young people from entering the criminal justice system.
The Thinkubator is an innovation and workforce development organization that works primarily with young people in the Bronx. They approach their work with a racial and economic equity lens through three major areas: education, research, and community. Through these programs, the Thinkubator prepares young people to succeed in the workplace and the world, tackle issues that inhibit community growth, development, and productivity, and develop the research and analytical skills to explore policy solutions to complex challenges.

The Thinkubator was founded in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. After their first full year of operations, they are exploring how to leverage the significant momentum they have built by investing in revenue generation that will support their long-term sustainability. Currently, the Thinkubator’s CEO does most of the organization’s fundraising; hiring a full-time employee focused on development will allow the organization to deepen its existing relationships with funders and explore new fundraising relationships while freeing up the CEO to focus on other responsibilities. Offered through NFF’s zero-interest CARE Fund, this loan will provide the Thinkubator with the resources it needs to pursue this hire – ensuring that this new organization and the services it provides to Bronx youth will be around for years to come.
Seeing Our Adolescents Rise (SOAR) connects middle and high school students with advisors, tutors, and community partners who help them define and achieve their goals. The activities they provide – mentorship, educational support, field trips, and community service opportunities – offer young people hands-on learning environments where they can work on their academics, explore new activities, and build life skills.

SOAR primarily is funded by fee-for-service contracts from the City of Denver. This means that they are only paid after providing services to Denver youth, creating persistent cash flow constraints that the organization would like to overcome. This working capital loan will smooth over these cash flow issues, ensuring that SOAR has access to the financing it needs at any point in the year. With consistent access to cash, SOAR can focus more of its efforts on running successful programs for Denver area youth – and on planning for the future.
Casita Maria was established in 1934 as the first charitable organization dedicated to Latinx residents of New York City. Headquartered in the South Bronx, the organization provides cultural, art, and educational services to predominately Latino youth and families in the Hunts Point neighborhood. In addition, Casita Maria operates a state of the art cultural center that includes performance spaces, an exhibition gallery, dance and music studios, and a middle and high school. Every day, more than 1,000 students come through the organization's doors to learn, explore and develop their talents, and establish a lifelong love for the arts. All of these students come from low-income families whose access to arts programs has been restricted; the vast majority identify as Black or Latinx.

Casita Maria relies on contracts with New York City and New York State for a large portion of its funding. However, these contracts are frequently delayed – even more so since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Financed through NFF's zero-interest CARE Fund, this loan will provide Casita Maria with the working capital it needs to continue paying its staff and offering its extensive array of programs for young people. Since many schools went remote in March 2020, young people have struggled to access opportunities to connect with the arts and build social and emotional skills; we're proud to invest in Casita Maria’s efforts to support their students' creativity.
Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI) works to prevent and eliminate interpersonal violence from the lives of young people through advocacy, peer leadership, community mobilization, and social justice. Recognizing that violence is an endemic public health issue among Central Brooklyn Youth, KAVI operates a range of violence intervention programs in school and hospital settings, including trauma recovery for families who have suffered through violence and trainings for young people on restorative justice and trauma-informed care.

In response to rising violence in the communities where it works, KAVI would like to bring on additional staff and peer facilitators to grow its programs. However, delays in payment from several of the organization's main funders are impeding KAVI's ability to plan this expansion. Offered through the Trinity Church Grantee Loan Fund, this no-interest loan will allow KAVI to bring on the staff it needs to at least double its operational budget, vastly expanding the number of young people it can reach through its violence prevention programming.
Soul Shoppe helps kids have healthy relationships at school and at home by teaching them tools to self-regulate, support friends, and resolve conflict. In the organization's workshops and assemblies, Soul Shoppe facilitators create safe environments for students to talk about real problems they are facing. The organization uses a research-based, experiential learning model rooted in early childhood development practices that create a sustained climate of safety.

After adopting a hybrid in-person/virtual model due to COVID-19, Soul Shoppe created a train-the-trainers program for school staff so that they can continue conflict resolution practices when Soul Shoppe staff cannot be physically present in schools. Financed through NFF’s CARE Fund, which offers 0% interest loans to community-centered nonprofits led by people of color, this loan will ensure that Soul Shoppe can launch its new train-the-trainers program and continue other work while it awaits repayment from school districts.

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