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2021 Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in Action Awards

Grants to USA Educators for Projects
Benefiting PreK-12 Students

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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NoVo Foundation, Education First, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/09/21 11:59 PM PT


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Grants to USA and territories educators for projects benefiting PreK-12 students. Funding is intended for classroom, school, or district-wide projects that encourage social-emotional growth. Grant funds may be used to support or expand an existing project or to start a new initiative.

NoVo Foundation is committed to supporting the spread of social and emotional learning (SEL) practices in schools and districts nationwide. NoVo Foundation, in partnership with Education First and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, aims to seed projects that foster social and emotional competencies in students in grades PK-12. 

This grant program focuses on educators as key catalysts in supporting all students and changing schools. NoVo Foundation wants to lift up, celebrate and learn from educators. At the same time, the Foundation wants programs and systems to be able to build and foster much greater compassion, to honor the lived experiences of students, to build skills in people and groups to embrace and understand differences, and to work through challenges to promote healing from all forms of trauma and harm. Space can and must be created for educators and students to imagine, build and lead us toward a better future built on racial and gender equity, social justice, and restorative practices.

Though all proposals are welcome, the Foundation also seeks proposals that specifically support one or more of the following student populations:

  • Students from Indigenous communities
  • Newcomers, including refugee students or recent immigrants
  • English learners
  • LGBTQIA+ students
  • Girls and young women of color
  • Students disproportionately affected by suspensions or the juvenile justice system
  • Students with learning disabilities
  • Students impacted by housing inequities or homelessness

For priority projects, see the URL for Full Text. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181374

Number of Grants:

Educator-Led Awards - Estimated number of total grants to be awarded: 110. District-Level Awards - Estimated number of total grants to be awarded: 40.

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Educator-Led Awards: $7,500 for a one-year proposal; $15,000 for a two-year proposal
- District-Level Awards: $25,000 for a one-year proposal; $50,000 for a two-year proposal

In addition to funding, the grantee cohort will receive opportunities to learn, share their work and connect with a group of national SEL practitioners, experts, and advocates at a convening and ongoing supports during the 2021–22 school year.

Term of Contract:

A select number of two-year grants will be awarded. Two-year grantees’ second year grant payment will be contingent upon a year one grant report sharing challenges and opportunities related to their project objectives.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

For the 2021–22 school year, we are inviting applications from two applicant pools:
1) School-based educators (including teachers, counselors, administrators, and other school staff) seeking to implement SEL initiatives in classrooms or schools in the 2021–2022 school year, and
2) District-level applicants seeking to implement SEL initiatives district-wide and/or across multiple schools within one district (including a charter network).

Applications are welcome from an educator/non-profit partnership or district/non-profit partnership, but the lead applicant is required to be an educator or district staff person,

Proposals that use the majority of funds to purchase curriculum materials, technology, or furniture are unlikely to be selected.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Three informational webinars will be held about this grant opportunity and application process. Links to the recordings will be available afterward.

- February 22, 4:00-5:00 pm ET:
- March 9, 5:00-6:00 pm ET:
- April 1, 5:00-6:00pm ET:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications will be accepted February 8 through April 9. No applications will be accepted after 11:59 pm PT on Friday, April 9, 2021.

Webinar recording (Feb. 22):

Click here to view the recording of the webinar held on March 9th:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Please send any additional questions about the RFP or application process to

Education First
P.O. Box 22871
Seattle, Washington, 98122-0871
(800) 503 8656 Telephone
(866) 243 0308 Fax

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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