Innovative Ideas and Partnerships Build Stronger Communities
When it comes to supporting the community, we believe in investing in exciting ideas, smart growth, and strategic collaboration. As our communities continue to face a growing number of pressing social challenges, local nonprofit organizations are seeking new and innovative ways to support the people that need it most.
Our annual grant program, 21st Century Solutions, awards funds to nonprofit organizations in 10 of our NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations markets to help them develop dynamic new strategies and programs to better their communities. This year’s winners feature innovative partnerships to address some of our nation’s greatest challenges within the areas of media arts and technology, civic engagement, jobs and economic empowerment, education and environment.
The NBCUniversal Foundation is proud to support this year’s winners as they continue to find creative and impactful ways to make a difference in our communities. You can read more about the winning organizations below.
Grand Prize Winners
Media Arts & Technology
In New York, the Maysles Institute, a renowned documentary film institution founded by documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles, will receive $100,000 for their Maysles Documentary Center's Community Producers Program. The initiative provides film education and professional development to court-involved youth and works in partnership with Arches Transformative Mentoring, part of New York City’s Department of Probation Young Men’s Initiative and the Center for Economic Opportunity.
Civic Engagement, Jobs and Economic Empowerment
A Place Called Home in Los Angeles will receive $100,000 for their Nutrition and Urban Agriculture Program, which partners with the Los Angeles Police Department to teach youth and the greater community how to garden and promote a greater sense of community within Southern Los Angeles with local officers. In addition to promoting healthier living and relationship building with local officers, the garden to table programs provide hands on experience as part of a vocational program that builds internships for students in a commercial kitchen.
Bethel New Life’s Innovation Center in Chicago will receive $50,000 to support their creative space for Chicago’s West Side residents, which provides a job training site, tech business launch pad, and maker space drop in club.
The Urban League of Greater Hartford in Connecticut will receive $50,000 for their partnership with the Hartford Police Department (HPD) to improve communication between minority youth and police, while building relationships of trust and mutual respect. Youth will work with HPD to develop a series of community forums and public service announcements (PSAs).
Kiva Microfunds will receive $50,000 for their Kiva City Oakland program in the Bay Area. Kiva presents a solution to the barriers encountered by low- income entrepreneurs in accessing the capital needed to start or grow their business, and leverages technology to facilitate lending and provide loans underwritten by social capital. Kiva pioneered "social underwriting" so borrowers can demonstrate their existing trust network to qualify for a loan.
In South Florida, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) will receive $50,000 to support their StartUp for Success initiative, in partnership with eMerge Americas, a tech/entrepreneurship conference, to provide a platform for first-year NFTE students and present business plans to an elite panel of judges. StartUp for Success culminates in a pitch competition at eMerge Americas.
In Dallas-Fort Worth, Promise House will receive $50,000 for their recently launched School Drop-in Center Project, which partners with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) to operate six weekly drop-in centers for homeless students enrolled in DISD schools. Drop-in centers establish a frequent and consistent safe space for students in crisis in order to achieve their academic goals.
The Elementary Institute of Science (EIS) in San Diego launched EIS OUTPOST: Ocean and Earth Expedition Field Trips, a STEM education partnership between EIS, Diamond Neighborhood teachers/schools, and University California San Diego Scripps Ocean Institute's STEM researchers that deliver Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) curriculum to local underserved students. The program will receive $50,000 for their continued work.
The Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop’s program From Prison to a Paycheck: "On the Job" Skill Building in Washington, DC will receive $50,000 for their work with young inmates to provide month-long paid apprenticeships to build literacy skills the youth developed through the prison book club and poetry program.
Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) of Philadelphia will receive $50,000 for their EnergyFIT Philly: Gentrification without Displacement by Preserving Affordable Housing program. The initiative preserves and stabilizes low-income homes, which helps to repair homes in poor condition. ECA combines energy conservation, health and safety treatments, education, and bill payment assistance services with home repair to reduce homeowners' maintenance and operating costs.
NBC4 Southern California / Telemundo 52 Los Angeles
A Place Called Home: $100,000
Boys & Girls Club of West Valley San Gabriel Valley: $50,000
Clothes the Deal: $50,000