Youth Forward History:
Youth Forward was conceived by a group of Triangle-based funders and incubated by the North Carolina Network of Grantmakers (NCNG), the state’s membership association for grantmakers. In 2011, a group of Chapel Hill and Carrboro funders and philanthropists and members of the NCNG came together to explore how they could collaborate to invest in the well-being of Chapel Hill and Carrboro children and youth.
To fully understand what was needed from the philanthropic community, this group of funders conducted a comprehensive scan of youth services and needs in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities. From these initial findings, the funders identified gaps in services, as well as key needs of the youth and nonprofits in the community.
To address these gaps, Youth Forward was launched and began engaging the nonprofit, business, and philanthropic communities in support of creating a sustainable network of youth-service providers. The funders also saw this as an opportunity to contribute to the growth and sustainability of the local nonprofit sector by providing capacity-building programming and fostering collaboration among youth-centered nonprofits.
In 2017, Youth Forward became a managing partner of YouthWorx on Main, a youth-serving nonprofit collaborative powered by the PTA Thrift Shop and Youth Forward that builds capacity for Chapel Hill and Carrboro organizations through collaboration. YouthWorx is a catalyst for impact, supporting nonprofits with best practices that improve the lives of underserved youth in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.