The Youth Development Fund has been EMCF's core program since 2000, concentrating on helping high-performing youth-serving nonprofits achieve greater impact.
The Youth Development Fund helps grantees build the infrastructure and evidence they need to expand and help economically disadvantaged youth, ages 9–24, get an education, find a good job, and avoid setbacks such as teen parenthood or criminal behavior on the path to successful adulthood.
In October 2018, EMCF’s president and board chairman announced that the Foundation’s staff and operations will transition in 2019 to Blue Meridian Partners, Inc., the collaborative philanthropic investment vehicle that EMCF helped found and incubated. This new organization will be responsible for helping EMCF fulfill its commitments and complete its work with grantees in the Youth Development Fund over the next three to four years as the Foundation winds down its activities.
A report by researchers Bill Ryan and Barbara Taylor, EMCF's Youth Development Fund: Results and Lessons from the First 10 Years chronicles the achievements of YDF grantees and the evolution of the Foundation’s grantmaking strategy. In an accompanying essay, Reflecting on our Grantees' Experience, EMCF President Nancy Roob reviews a decade’s progress—and challenges.