Pierce County Expanded Learning Opportunity Fund

Funding to support programs focusing on academic learning, mental health, and social-emotional outcomes for youth in Pierce County.

Apply today to receive support for your summer program!

The ELO Fund RFP is designed to be simple and low barrier, making it easy to apply for funding. We will distribute funding awards quickly, enabling timely planning and program implementation. Apply before the deadline on Monday, May 8, 2023, at 11:59pm.

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This FAQ section provides answers to commonly asked questions about the Pierce County ELO Fund. Here, you can find information on the eligibility requirements, funding amount, selection criteria, and more.

This funding opportunity is open to a variety of program providers, including: nonprofits, fiscally sponsored organizations/programs, colleges and universities, municipal agencies, businesses, and sole proprietorships. Community-based providers who are reflective of and embedded in the communities they serve will be a particular focus for the ELO fund.

ELO Fund awards will only be made to organizations based in, or serving, children and youth in Pierce County. Funding may be used for any purpose associated with the implementation of a specific ELO program for which there is a clear and actionable budget and plan for implementation during the summer or school year of 2023. Both new and existing ELO programs are eligible for funding. 

Only one application will be accepted per program or organization. The only exception will be for a youth development organization which also serves as a fiscal agent for another program/organization. In those cases, each may submit an application.

Pierce County is partnering with the Foundation for Tacoma Students (FFTS) to administer $575,000 in funding. We anticipate that award sizes will range in size from $5,000 to $50,000. We will disburse funds in a single, up-front payment

The deadline to apply for funding is Monday, May 8, 2023 at 11:59pm.

Funding decisions will be based on how much and to what extent youth-serving programs and organizations address three funding criteria areas:


  1. Programs that engage youth in priority populations (40%):
    • BIPOC youth
    • Youth in poverty
  2. Programs prioritizing academic learning or social-emotional learning (30%). Please see Programmatic Focus for more information. Examples of program types could include:
    • A program that provide high quality academic tutoring
    • A program that hosts events/workshops that provide academic support for students
    • A program that provides a summer academic program for students
    • A program that provides culturally specific programming
    • A program that provides art opportunities
    • A program that hosts youth mental health support groups
    • A youth-led and operated community service project
    • A sports or recreation program
  3. Programs that have a clear, realistic and actionable budget and implementation plan (30%)
    • A realistic budget that aligns with program activities 
    • A clearly expected program size
    • An established timeline
    • Defined locations/facilities
    • A staffing plan, and/or evidence of existing staff capacity
    • A plan for program frequency and duration
    • A plan for defining success

Applications must be submitted through the ELO Fund Application PortalThere are three required pieces as part of a complete application, all of which should be submitted through the Application Portal

  • Completed Program Summary Form (included as part of the Application Portal)
  • Completed Program Narrative (upload narrative responses through the Application Portal)
    • Three-page limit
  • Completed Program Budget (upload program budget through the Application Portal)
    • No page limit, may be submitted in your existing format

Please note that the application portal does not allow for you to begin your submission, save it, and return to complete it at a later date. We recommend that you review the program summary questions and have your responses ready before beginning your submission through the Application Portal.

FFTS will review applications and notify all applicants of funding decisions no later than Friday, June 2, 2023.


April 12, 2023

Request for Proposals Released

April 14, 2023

ELO Fund Virtual Information Session

April 18, 2023

ELO Fund in-person Information Session

April 21, 2023

ELO Fund Virtual Information Session

May 8, 2023

Request for Proposals Closes – anticipated

Week of May 29, 2023

Anticipated notifications to all applicants

Weeks of June 5 and June 12, 2023

Anticipated contract signing for all awardees

June 26 – July 3, 2023

Anticipated disbursement of funds

ELO Fund reporting requirements are intended to capture the efficacy of our funding and youth program access and equity throughout the County, without requiring onerous work or unreasonable expectations for grantees. All funded organizations/programs will provide demographic information on program participants. The reporting process will protect participants’ Personally Identified Information (PII) and express data security and liability responsibilities for FFTS. The FFTS data team will provide technical assistance as needed on how to best collect/report these data points. 

All awarded organizations will be required to maintain documentation of actual expenses incurred, and will be asked to submit documentation to FFTS on an agreed-upon schedule.

FFTS will host virtual information sessions for prospective applicants. The dates, times and locations of these sessions are as follows:

Session Type





April 14 , 2023

10:00am-11:30 AM


In-Person (FFTS Office)

April 18, 2023

3:00-4:30 PM



April 21, 2023

9:00-10:30 AM


A recording of the April 13th information session will be available on this webpage.

All questions can be sent to FFTS at elofund2023@graduatetacoma.org.