Here’s a Great Opportunity in Children’s Bereavement and Underserved Youth

The New York Life Foundation (NYLF) is leading the way in childhood bereavement funding and continuing to show steady support for organizations working in this niche funding area. In fact, NYLF is the largest corporate funder of childhood bereavement support and a national expert in the field.


And now, the foundation has opened up a new grant opportunity that nonprofits working in childhood bereavement will be interested to learn about, not just those in New York City, but all across the U.S. It’s called Grief Reach and the grant opportunity is open until July 11.

NYLF is sticking with a collaboration that has worked for them over the past five years: a partnership with the National Alliance for Grieving Children, which is a national network of professionals and volunteers who share ideas and resources on how to support children facing the loss of family members. NYLF is offering up 42 grants totaling $1.25 million through a request for proposals (RFP) process that just kicked off.

To learn more about this new opportunity, I connected with Maria Collins, the vice president of the New York Life Foundation.

Although the funder’s name might suggest a preference for New York City, Collins said that this is a nationwide effort aimed at children and families all across the country. “Partnering with the NAGC (National Alliance for Grieving Children) on this initiative was the best way for us to connect with local organizations nationwide,” she said.

What’s interesting about this effort is that there are two distinct funding opportunities: community expansion grants and capacity building grants. Collins said that the foundation is able to fund the huge need of reaching more unserved grieving youth through its community expansion grants in particular.

Ultimately, the Grief Reach grantmaking program will support the same level of grants in these two categories as last year. NYLF will award 20 grants of $10,000 each to support capacity building and 22 community expansion grants totaling $1.05 million. However, it’s important to note this Grief Reach program is just one of several NYLF grantmaking initiatives in support of grieving children.

The first informational webinar available for grantseekers on May 18 at 2:00pm EST, which can be accessed here. If you miss it, you can also attend a question/answer session at the 2016 NAGC Symposium or online on June 29 at 2:00 pm.

One question that we’ve had from the beginning was why this one very specific cause has been such an important and enduring passion for the New York Life Foundation. So I just came right out and asked. Here’s what Collins had to say:

Although death impacts everyone, the issue of childhood bereavement often remains under the radar, and resources and support for grieving children are not always readily available. This cause needed a champion to help raise the level of conversation around childhood grief and provide better access to resources/services to ensure that children and families do not grieve alone. As a life insurance company that has been in the business of supporting children and families when a death occurs for over 170 years, New York Life is a natural champion for this cause, and our holistic approach to supporting grieving families runs deep and wide across the company.

Grant applications will be accepted online through July 11 and the new awards will be announced in September. Agencies that support both children and teenagers are eligible to apply, and the target of all these grants is underserved youth.

All applications will be reviewed by a National Alliance for Grieving Children committee, but final funding decisions will be made by NYLF. Any questions about this open funding opportunity should be directed to Megan Lopez at