Request for Proposals:

Aim High: Supporting Out-of-School Time 

Programs Serving Middle School Youth 

RFP Deadline: 5 PM ET on 

Thursday, February 1st, 2024.

Link to the Full RFP


On behalf of the New York Life Foundation, the Afterschool Alliance invites out-of-school time programs to apply for a competitive grant opportunity to support and bolster the ability of afterschool and summer learning programs to help prepare middle school students for success in high school, college, and life.

Why Middle School? 

A large body of evidence indicates the critical role of middle school in determining a young person’s long-term academic trajectory. Enriching out-of-school time (OST) programs—such as afterschool and summer learning programs—are an effective means of helping middle school students successfully transition from 8th to 9th grade. In addition, these programs provide benefits to students that extend beyond academics, helping develop the whole young person—cognitively, socially, and emotionally. The New York Life Foundation’s educational enhancement grantmaking strategy aims to provide opportunities that help students in middle school thrive and become better prepared to complete high school and go on to college, providing them a brighter future.

Why was the Aim High Program created?

The New York Life Foundation created the Aim High grant program to support the ability of local community-based afterschool and summer learning programs to provide the foundational skills and guidance that middle school students need to be prepared for the critical transition into high school.

The Aim High Grant Program

This competitive grant program includes both one- and two-year grant opportunities. Applicants can only apply for one of these grants. One-year grants will begin in June 2024 and end in May 2025. Two-year grants will begin in June 2024 and end in May 2026.

One-Year Grants:

Twenty one-year grants of $15,000 each will be awarded. Ten of these will focus on supporting programs efforts around racial equity and social justice, and ten will focus on supporting programs efforts around youth entrepreneurship.

The New York Life Foundation recognizes that it is imperative to build on its legacy of support for marginalized communities as part of its ongoing commitment to support an equitable and just society. Understanding the unique role that afterschool and summer learning programs can play in addressing equity, ten of the one-year grants are dedicated to supporting programs in their efforts to advance racial equity and social justice.

The New York Life Foundation also recognizes the importance of empowering and inspiring young people. To strengthen a programs ability to enhance the leadership skills of the youth they serve, ten of this years one-year grants will go towards program efforts to support youth entrepreneurship.

Applicants for all one-year grants will further be required to describe how they support middle school youth in the transition to high school. Organizations with annual organizational budgets of $150,000 or more will be eligible for these grants.

Two-Year Grants:

The two-year grant opportunity focuses on supporting programs in enhancing direct service activities, technical assistance, capacity building, and their efforts in continuing to serve youth while facing the challenges of the pandemic and beyond.

There are two separate 2-year grant opportunities included in this RFP. Each program will only be allowed to apply to one of these grant opportunities, as explained below:

  • 10 grants at $50,000 per year over the span of two years, for a total 2-year grant award of $100,000. Only afterschool and summer programs with annual program budgets of $250,000 or more AND annual organizational budgets of $500,000 or more will be eligible to apply for these grants.
  • 10 grants at $25,000 per year over the span of two years, for a total 2-year grant award of $50,000. Only organizations with annual organizational budgets of $250,000 or more will be eligible for these grants.

Application deadline: 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, February 1st, 2024  

Before beginning your application, we encourage you to review the entire Aim High Request for Proposals here and Check out our FAQ!

New Registrants: 

If you have not already done so, you should begin by clicking on the "Register" button in the upper right hand corner of your screen. After successfully registering, you will be required to fill out a brief set of eligibility questions which will determine the grant tiers for which you are eligible. After finishing the registration process, you will be able to select and begin the application process for any of the grants for which you are eligible.

Returning Users: 

Please note that for this year's RFP, the questions in the eligibility questionnaire have changed. You may need to retake the eligibility questionnaire before you can select and apply for any of this year's Aim High grants. Once you retake the new eligibility questionnaire, you will be able to select and apply to any of the grant tiers for which you are eligible.

The application platform should automatically invite you to retake the eligibility questionnaire. If it does not do so, you may change your eligibility questionnaire responses by taking the following steps:

  1. Click on the “Log In” button in the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Enter your email and password to log into the platform.
  3. Once logged into the platform, click on your name in the upper right hand corner of the screen, then click on “My Account” in the drop-down menu.
  4. On the left hand side of the screen you will see a set of three boxes labeled “My Profile,” “Notifications,” and “Eligibility.” Click on “Eligibility.”
  5. This will take you to the Eligibility Checklist page. Click on the large green button labeled “Update your eligibility profile.”
  6. Review your responses in the Eligibility Checklist to ensure that they are still accurate, and answer the two new eligibility questions (questions 5 and 6). Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click the green button labeled “Save my profile."
  7. Once you have saved your responses, click on the button labeled “Programs” in the upper right hand corner of the screen. This will show you all of the grant tiers for which you are eligible to apply. If it says “Sorry, there are no programs” that means that at least one of your responses in the eligibility questionnaire has rendered you ineligible.

Eligibility requirements:

  • 501(c)(3) status. Applicants for this competitive grant program must have 501(c)(3) status. You will be required to verify your EIN as a part of the application.
  • Middle school youth (6th, 7th, 8th graders) served. This competitive grant program is targeted to programs serving middle school students in grades 6, 7 and 8.Organizations applying for funding may serve students outside of this grade range but grant funds are specifically for middle school youth. 
  • High percentage of low-income youth served. Applicants for this competitive grant program must serve a high percentage—at least 75 percent—of low-income youth. For the purposes of this grant program, “low-income” is defined as students who qualify for the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch Program (FRPL).


Applicants that currently receive funding, either directly or indirectly, from the New York Life Foundation are ineligible to apply. This includes:

  • National or regional organizations that receive New York Life Foundation funding directly.
  • Local affiliate organizations or programs that receive any financial support from their national headquarters that originates from New York Life Foundation grants.
  • Current recipients of Aim High grant funds.
  • Schools (public and private) and school districts are ineligible to apply.
  • Colleges and universities are ineligible to apply.

Application deadline: 5:00 PM EST, Thursday, February 1st, 2024.

Grant awards will be announced by the beginning of June 2024.

Questions? Check out our FAQ!

To learn more about the past award recipients, please visit the Afterschool Alliance's Award page.

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