Grant round: Youth employment and race equity

Our research shows that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are twice as likely as their better-off peers to be out of education, employment or training (NEET).

There is also clear data showing that ethnic minority young people are disproportionately impacted by unemployment.

So for this open grant round, we are looking for impact-led organisations who support young people from both ethnic minority and socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds into work. You will need to have an ambition to grow with meaningful impact, using data.

We are looking for four new partner organisations to join our portfolio, who will receive between £30k-£100k in unrestricted grant funding per year for two years, as well as hands-on support from our experienced investment team and additional support from our network of pro bono supporters.

Why now?

At Impetus, our mission is to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in school, work and life. We work with charities to deliver meaningful outcomes in the areas of attainment, university access and employment.

Until now, our approach to finding charities has been predominantly through internal research and networks. Since 2013, our in-house team has identified 1,225 organisations, looking for the most promising organisations in the sector. We are immensely proud of the 38 impactful charities we have partnered with in that time.

But we are aware that there are many great organisations we do not know yet and are keen to expand our networks to find them. We are now openly seeking charities because we want to broaden our networks and portfolio. It is one part of our organisational commitment to embedding diversity in all aspects of our work. This includes finding innovative solutions that draw on all aspects of diversity including class, ethnic background, gender, disability and sexuality.

What is in it for you?

We have over 15 years’ experience finding, funding, and building the best organisations working in the youth sector. Since 2013, we have given £92.8m worth of support to 38 charities, including £29.6m of core funding.

But we are more than a funder. Our backing comes with focused and hands-on support from our experienced investment team and network of pro bono experts across all aspects of our charity partners’ work - deepening their impact, upskilling their leadership and helping them achieve sustainable growth. Our approach is working – our charity partners have grown with impact.

    Our non-financial support is often valued by our charity partners more than the core funding we provide. In a recent survey of our charity CEOs, all rated our support as either delivering significant or transformational impact.

    Impetus’ expertise has been truly revolutionary. Our partnership is helping create a robust platform to help more disadvantaged young people succeed in work.

    Revd Tom Jackson, Executive Chairman, Resurgo

    As an Impetus charity partner, you will receive:

    • £30-100k in core, unrestricted funding per year for two years (with potential for us to become a longer-term funder)
    • Hands-on support from our Investment Team to help shape your plans for impact and growth
    • Support from our network of pro bono experts, on anything from business planning and financial modelling to legal support
    • Access to our peer learning forums; providing training, networking and co-learning opportunities with our 25 charity partners
    • Access to sector-based coalitions to influence policy and the national conversation on the issues faced by the young people we serve, particularly the race gap in employment
    • Access to co-investment through our network of donors

    What we are looking for

    About your organisation:

    • You are a registered charity or social enterprise working in the UK
    • We have a particular interest in working with organisations who work outside of London and / or nationally (particularly in Yorkshire & the Humber, West Midlands and the North-West)
    • Your organisation had an income of at least £100k in your last independently examined set of accounts
    • Your organisation is directly supporting at least 50 young people per year in your employment-focused programmes who are:
      • between the ages of 16-24
      • from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds
      • at least 40% are from ethnic minority backgrounds
    • We have a particular interest in organisations working with Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Black, and Gypsy / Roma / Traveller young people
    Hover over or click on me to read clarification information about the above.
    We stipulate an income of at least £100k because we’ve found smaller organisations have struggled to take full advantage of the capacity-building support we offer.

    We stipulate that you are working with at least 50 young people per year because we’re focused on supporting organisations to evidence and grow their impact, and to scale; this requires sufficient initial numbers to give confidence in current performance.

    We define socio-economic disadvantage as: 1. Young people eligible for pupil premium i.e. children eligible for free school meals or who have been eligible at any point in the previous 6 years (Ever 6 FSM) 2. Low-income household 3. Looked After Children (LAC) and children who have been adopted or fostered from care (post-LAC).

    About your employment programme:

    • You are running a programme that focuses on supporting young people to secure a job. Your programme is designed to help young people into employment, education or training, and you use those outcomes as a measure of success.
    • Your leadership team and Board are committed to improving your impact using data, and growing the employment rates achieved by the young people you work with (Our work with charities is heavily focused on supporting you to improve your impact using data, and then to grow, so it is important that your Board and senior management have the same ambition).
    • You believe in the importance of building a Leadership team and Board that reflect the young people you serve. We want to support talented and passionate leaders from a diverse range of backgrounds.

    How to apply and timelines

    We have tried to design a short initial application process that should not take too long to complete.

    If you think your organisation meets the criteria for this round (as outlined above), and you would like to be considered as a potential Impetus charity partner, please complete the following steps.

    Please note, the below timeframe is indicative.

    Step one

    Eligibility form

    Please first complete our online eligibility form.

    Opens from 21 February 2022. Closes at midnight on 27 March 2022.

    Step two

    Application form

    If you are eligible, we will ask you to complete a short application form. This should not take more than 60 minutes to complete if you have your organisational finance information to hand.

    Closes at midnight on 27 March 2022.

    Step three

    1-hour call with your CEO

    If you have made our shortlist (normally around 20-30 organisations), one of our team will be in touch to set up a 1-hour call with your CEO to get a better understanding of your organisation and programme, and for you to learn a bit more about us.

    Shortlisted organisations will be contacted by our team for further discussions by end of April 2022.

    Step four

    Meeting your leadership team and Board

    We will then ask organisations that we feel are a good fit for our priorities in this round of investment to enter a more intensive process of assessment, which we call due diligence. During this process, we will spend time getting to know you, your organisation, your programme and your ambition for impact and growth. You will also get to know us and our work in more detail and understand what a partnership with Impetus might look like.

    Due diligence phase for selected organisations will take place June - August 2022. Final grant decisions will be made by our Investment Committee in September 2022, with grant disbursements likely to occur by the end of October.