For Grant Seekers

The Upswing Fund for Adolescent Mental Health is a collaborative fund that provides timely resources to organizations that focus on the mental health and well-being of adolescents who are of color and/or LGBTQ+ in the United States—populations that face urgent needs during the pandemic but too often lack access to the care they need.

The Upswing Fund is currently accepting applications for two types of grants. Applicants may apply to one type of grant only:

Surge Capacity

Provide immediate resources to direct-service organizations that provide mental healthcare to adolescents who are of color and/or LGBTQ+.

Systems Enabler

Provide resources to organizations to surface innovative approaches for adolescent mental health services that make more resilient systems to enable access to care.

Surge Capacity

To be eligible to receive a grant from The Upswing Fund, your organization must be certified as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS and serve adolescents (ages 10-18) who are of color and/or LGBTQ+.

Additional eligibility information is below:

Eligible organizations are:

  • Non-profit, outpatient clinics which offer in-person or virtual mental health,
  • Community-based organizations or community centers providing mental and emotional support,
  • Digital health services,
  • After school programs and school-based mental health services,
  • Mobile crisis programs.

Timeline

  • Oct. 20: Application submission period begins
  • Nov. 16, 11:59 pm PST: Last date to apply for Systems Enabler Grants
  • Dec. 4, 11:59 pm PST: Last date to apply for Surge Capacity Grants (Please note: Applications will be reviewed and funding decisions will be made on a rolling basis until all funds are disbursed)
  • Note that organizations may apply to one type of grant only.

Systems Enabler

To be eligible to receive a grant from The Upswing Fund, your organization must be certified as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS and serve adolescents (ages 10-18) who are of color and/or LGBTQ+.

Additional eligibility information is below:

Eligible programs will:

  • Have an innovative solution which can make a scalable impact within the next 12 months,
  • Have been in existence with demonstratable metrics and outcomes for at least 6 months, and
  • Advance achievement in one of our key focus areas with a tactic that may include, but is not limited to, software-based, specific policy change, a communications campaign or other novel, scalable solution.

Timeline:

  • Oct. 20: Application submission period begins
  • Nov. 16: Last date to apply for Systems Enabler Grants (applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm PST)
  • Dec. 4: Last date to apply for Surge Capacity Grants (Please note: Applications will be reviewed and funding decisions will be made on a rolling basis until all funds are disbursed)
  • Note that organizations may apply to one type of grant only.

Applications for Systems Enabler grants are no longer being accepted.

To be eligible to receive a grant from The Upswing Fund, your organization must be certified as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS and serve adolescents (ages 10-18) who are of color and/or LGBTQ+.

Additional eligibility information is below:

Eligible programs will:

  • Have an innovative solution which can make a scalable impact within the next 12 months,
  • Have been in existence with demonstratable metrics and outcomes for at least 6 months, and
  • Advance achievement in one of our key focus areas with a tactic that may include, but is not limited to, software-based, specific policy change, a communications campaign or other novel, scalable solution.

Timeline:

  • Oct. 20: Application submission period begins
  • Nov. 16: Last date to apply for Systems Enabler Grants (applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm PST)
  • Dec. 4: Last date to apply for Surge Capacity Grants (Please note: Applications will be reviewed and funding decisions will be made on a rolling basis until all funds are disbursed)
  • Note that organizations may apply to one type of grant only.

Applications for Systems Enabler grants are no longer being accepted.

If you have questions about your eligibility or our grantmaking process, please see our Grant Seeker FAQs below.

For technical questions specific to the grant application portal, please contact us and include “Technical Application Question” in your subject line.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Fund named a ten-person advisory committee of experts across a range of adolescent mental health specialties. The committee, in partnership with the Fund’s director, defined the grantmaking priorities and criteria for awarding grants.

The Upswing Fund is a collaborative fund seeded by Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates to advance social progress in the United States.

Grants made in this funding round will be one-time grants.

In Fall 2020, The Upswing Fund will be making one-year, non-renewable grants. We anticipate making approximately fifty Surge Capacity grants (ranging from $10,000 to $100,000) and approximately ten Systems Enabler grants (up to $500,000 each).

For-profit organizations and organizations that do not serve or benefit adolescents of color and/or LGBTQ+ adolescents ages 10-18 are ineligible to be funded by The Upswing Fund.

The Fund is supporting organizations that are focused in the United States. However, there is no specific geographic focus. Systems Enabler grants may be national, regional, or statewide in scope.

No.

Each organization may submit only one application for either Surge Capacity or Systems Enabler grants.

We encourage eligible grant seekers to submit an application for their desired program. For those applications selected for funding, our current intention is to make one grant award (total) per organization/unique EIN. At this time, we don’t anticipate awarding a Surge Capacity grant and a Systems Enabler grant to the same organization at the same time .

This round of funding for The Upswing Fund is designed to support organizations who primarily serve adolescents ages 10-18 who are of color and/or LGBTQ+. Applicants are encouraged to use their own judgment of whether their program aligns with the current target population of The Upswing Fund.

Grants from The Upswing Fund aim to ensure that more adolescents have access to quality mental healthcare. There is no requirement that applying organizations must provide clinical services.

  • Systems Enabler grant applications must be submitted by November 16.
  • Surge Capacity grant applications must be submitted by December 4. (Please note: Applications will be reviewed and funding decisions will be made on a rolling basis until all funds are disbursed)

To first determine your eligibility, you must create an account in our grantee portal and complete the eligibility quiz. Upon passing the quiz, you will be directed to begin your application. You may email a copy of the full application to yourself which will preview all of the questions you’ll be asked to complete. In addition, you will be asked to submit the following attachments:

For Surge Capacity Grant applications:

  • Latest available Form 990
  • Current fiscal year organizational budget OR most recent financial statements provided to the Board of Directors

For Systems Enabler Grant applications:

  • Project budget
  • Latest available Form 990
  • 2019 annual financial statements (if submitting Form 990 from prior 2019)
  • Current fiscal year organizational budget OR most recent financial statements provided to your Board of Directors
  • Biographies for key staff

You may access your application portal, including any applications in progress and submitted, by logging in here: https://www.GrantRequest.com/SID_6190?SA=AM

No. We ask that applicants only submit requested attachments.

The following list is intended to provide additional clarity on what The Upswing Fund will not fund:

  • Individuals or to causes that will benefit only one person.
  • Organizations that discriminate against adolescents of any race and/or LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Organizations providing treatments which are not evidence-informed.
  • Organizations who focus on serving early childhood care or who serve exclusively adults outside of the 10-18 target age range.
  • Organizations which are solely focused on providing personal protective equipment or other medical care for COVID-19 response.
  • Support and/or reimbursement for mental health services or other work that has already taken place.
  • Academic and/or scientific research.
  • Organizations who are applying for, hold, or are employed on a research grant from the tobacco industry.

The reporting requirements and due dates will be shared in the grant award documents for those who are selected for grant awards.

Grantees will be informed of funding decisions on a rolling basis.

For planning purposes, you should plan for the grant term to be 2021, however specific dates will be shared in the grant award documents for those who are selected for grant awards.

Each application will be reviewed holistically and evaluated based on the totality of its answers.

Surge Capacity Grants aim to immediately increase capacity for mental health providers serving adolescents who are of color and/or LGBTQ+ to ensure that more adolescents have access to quality mental healthcare. The Fund will enable grantees to provide care by:

  • Achieving short-term programmatic and organizational goals
  • Increasing capacity to treat more adolescents
  • Enabling the procurement of technology and telehealth resources to deploy teletherapy services as a response to COVID-19
  • Facilitating a marked impact on the youth they serve, determined by an increase in the amount of therapy sessions as well as improvement in adolescent patients’ mental health as measured by evidence-based surveys

Systems Enabler Grants provide resources to organizations to surface innovative approaches in adolescent mental health services that make more resilient systems to enable access to care. A systems enabler is an inclusive, forward-thinking organization with a game-changing program or project focused on transforming mental health for adolescents. Systems Enabler Grants will be awarded to address these key focus areas:

  • Efforts to expand the formal mental health workforce
  • Mental health service integration in schools and other community-based organizations
  • Efforts to expand the use of digital tools or telehealth services
  • Public financing of mental health services
  • Stigma reduction and mental health awareness

Although applicants are welcome to submit a timeline and budget that exceeds one year, The Upswing Fund’s preference is that proposed project timelines and budgets align with the timeline of the grant award. The current round of funding is for one-time non-renewable grants. Applications will be reviewed based on the work that has been proposed to be done during the specified grant start date and end date.

Applicants are encouraged to use their own judgment on which focus area their proposal best aligns and make their selections accordingly.

Up to 20 percent is allowable.

We encourage applicants to submit what they have, even if they are not your finalized version. We will follow-up with applicants individually if we have additional questions or would like additional clarification based on what has been submitted.