Who is eligible to apply?

To be considered for FUEL for 50, applicant programs must:

  • Support adults that care for children ages 0-3
  • Serve a New York City community impacted by poverty
  • Be associated with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is not funded by FUEL
Is it required that all applicants be based in NYC?

Yes, except in the case of an application submitted by more than one partnering organization – in this case, at least one organization must be based in New York City.

Is FUEL for 50 only for organizations devoted to early childhood learning or development?

No, we are excited to hear from any nonprofit organizations that work with important adults in the lives of children 3-and-under, including organizations that have never considered applying for funding focused on early childhood.

For example, we know that there are organizations doing applicable work in the fields of immigration, criminal justice reform, housing, food security and more. As long as you’re supporting the parents or caregivers of young children we want to hear from you!

My organization is faith-based. Can we apply?

Yes, 501(c)(3)-designated religious organizations are welcome to apply to FUEL for 50.

Can we partner with another organization on our application?

Yes, organizations and individuals are encouraged to partner on applications. While the primary applicant must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, secondary applicants in a partnership may be any type of organization, including for-profit.

However, if a partnering application receives an award, the award will be distributed to the primary applicant, who will serve as a single eligible entity that will have the legal responsibility and authority for the use of the award and that will exercise direction, control and supervision of the proposed program.

Can a group of three or more entities apply in partnership to FUEL for 50?

Yes, assuming all other eligibility criteria are met.

My organization’s 501(c)(3) status is processing or pending. Can we apply?

In order to apply to FUEL for 50, your organization must have its 501(c)(3) determination by the application deadline of November 19, 2021. If you suspect you will not have a determination letter by this date, we encourage you to partner with an eligible nonprofit who can serve as the primary applicant to FUEL for 50.

My organization already received a grant from the Fund for Early Learning (FUEL). Can we apply?

FUEL grantees may not apply to FUEL for 50 as a primary applicant. However, current FUEL grantees may apply in partnership with an eligible primary applicant.

Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis, notably in the context of university systems. Please contact us for additional information.

My organization receives funding from Robin Hood, but not FUEL. Can we apply?


We previously applied for funding from Robin Hood and were denied, can we still apply to FUEL for 50?


We are former Grant Readiness and Insight Training (GRIT) members. Can we apply to FUEL for 50?

Yes! GRIT members and Relief Fund grantees are encouraged to apply if they meet the other eligibility criteria.

We used to be Robin Hood grantees but are no longer receiving funding. Can we still apply?



How do I submit an application to FUEL for 50?

Apply here. All applications must be submitted through this online portal. We cannot accept paper applications or applications sent by email.

What can I expect from the FUEL for 50 application?

The FUEL for 50 application is designed to be as simple as possible, only asking the questions needed for Robin Hood and its selection committee to make well-informed decisions. For convenience, you can download the list of application questions, however the application must be submitted online.

When is the FUEL for 50 application due?

The application will become available on this website on August 24, 2021, and must be submitted by November 19, 2021, at 11:59 pm Eastern Time.

Can we submit more than one application?

Yes, as long as the applications are for distinct program(s) or services. Whether an applicant submitting more than one application can receive more than one award is at the discretion of the Selection Committee.


How will applications be evaluated?

Our staff and Selection Committee will assess all eligible application, which will be evaluated based on the following equally-weighted selection criteria:

    • Compelling: Does the organization present a compelling plan or vision for strengthening core skills, building nurturing relationships, reducing sources of stress or otherwise supporting parents or caregivers of children ages 3-and-under?
    • Impactful: How confident are you that this program will positively impact families with young children or caregivers or other important adults in the lives of young children?
    • Community-Informed: Does the organization demonstrate relationships with the communities they hope to serve? Have those relationships and community needs informed the program’s design?
    • Realistic: Do the potential reach and objectives for this program seem achievable or executable?

Final Assessment: Reflecting on the overall submission, how excited are you about the possibility of this organization being named an awardee of FUEL for 50?

Will applications be judged based on total people reached? Are we at a disadvantage in the FUEL for 50 selection process if we serve a specific neighborhood or community?

No. Please see the evaluation criteria listed above.

How will the recipients of additional funding in 2022-23 be selected?

All FUEL for 50 awardees will have the opportunity to apply for additional awards in November 2022 and to receive guidance from Robin Hood staff and early childhood experts. We intend to support programs that demonstrate progress and effectively incorporate early childhood research – and awardees will receive full details on the process and criteria for additional awards.

Award Details

I understand that FUEL for 50 will provide 50 awards of $25,000 each. If selected as one of the 50, how can this money be used?

The $25,000 award is general operating support to further your program. There are no restrictions on spending or reporting requirements connected to the award.

How do future FUEL for 50 awards and selection work?

The 50 organizations recognized in Phase One will be invited to apply for one of 10 additional $250,000 awards in November 2022. Three of these 10 organizations will be selected to share $3 million in support in 2023. These additional awards will be given to organizations that successfully demonstrate the impact and scalability of their program. More information on additional awards will be provided to the 50 organizations selected as part of this application process.

I see that FUEL for 50 awardees also gain access to “Workshops.” What are these?

We have arranged for a series of high-quality workshops and webinars designed to support awardees in further developing their program, as well as providing exceptional coaching on organizational and professional development. This technical assistance will provide applicants with information that will also help them write a strong application for future Phases of FUEL for 50, but won’t in and of itself give an organization a leg up in the application process. Additional, individualized support will be made available to organizations that are selected for Phase Two.

Is participation in these workshops required?

No, except for the first session which is an opportunity for awardees to meet one another, representatives of Robin Hood and facilitators of future Workshop opportunities. Additional Workshops are optional. We encourage you to review the offerings and attend those for which you feel you and your organization would benefit.

Who from the application team should attend these workshops?

Designees from both the primary applicant organization and its partnering organization(s) may attend. However, space will be limited at in-person sessions. If needed, Robin Hood reserves the right to limit participation to one designee per awardee organization. We encourage attendees to be those most closely associated with the development, implementation or management of the program submitted to FUEL for 50.


How do I apply for traditional Robin Hood funding?

For information about funding opportunities, check Robin Hood’s primary application and eligibility requirements.

Can I submit my application in a language other than English?

Unfortunately, the application system being used for FUEL for 50 only uses English. If you’d like to explore the possibility of submitting an application in a language other than English, please reach out to us to discuss.

I work on a Head Start program, childcare provider or other service to young children. Should we apply?

FUEL for 50 is intended specifically to support adult caregivers of kids 0-3, so direct services for children are not the focus of this initiative. If your organization also works with adult family members, neighbors, infant/toddler teachers, etc. we’d encourage you to submit a program focused on supporting them.

What happens to my program if we’re selected for FUEL for 50? Do I give up control or any rights to my idea?

No way! Your idea remains your idea. Click here to see the Round One Terms & Conditions for FUEL for 50.

My program is a long-standing, evidence-based program. Should we apply?

We encourage applications from programs aimed at supporting parents/caregivers. FUEL for 50 primarily aims to celebrate community-developed programs. However, community-based organizations who may want to implement a national, evidence-based program in their community are also encouraged to apply.