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Our Work

Sourcing Additional Funding

Photo credit: Allison Shelley for EDUimages
Current funding for children and youth is insufficient to achieve our vision of a nation where all children thrive. Too often, when advocates articulate the need to fill the gap between current investments and our goals for children and youth, they face what seems like a daunting question, “Where will we get the additional funding?” The implication is that there simply isn’t enough money to go around.

At Children’s Funding Project we believe that in a nation of abundance there are myriad potential sources of additional funding. Consequently, we collect examples of funding sources currently used to support children and youth and collaborate with state and local leaders to determine which options are viable in their context.

Our work to investigate, catalog, and support the pursuit of sources of additional funding prioritizes sources that are both significant and sustainable. We don’t focus on donor cultivation, eliciting charitable gifts, or other small and short-term solutions. The types of sources we prioritize fall into four groups:

  1. Local options for generating and dedicating public tax revenue: Counties and municipalities can raise or allocate new or existing local taxes to establish and support voter-approved children’s funds. Communities interested in pursuing this specific source of additional funding should visit our page about how we support these funds.
  2. State options for generating public revenue: We collaborate with state leaders, advocates, and our research partners to identify potential sources of untapped public revenue at the state level that could be allocated to serve children and youth.
  3. Sources with potential: Our team has investigated and documented examples of funding sources with high potential to support children and youth services from all across the country, drawing inspiration both from child advocates and from other fields and areas, such as municipal economic development. We collaborate with state and local leaders and advocates to understand their economic context and recommend creative sources of funding that could help fill funding gaps. Examples of these sources include payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT), community benefits agreements, and profits from publicly held assets, among others.
  4. Federal COVID-19 relief packages including American Rescue Plan funding: Our team moved quickly to understand and document the opportunities presented by federal COVID-19 relief packages. Be sure to view our American Rescue Plan collection for additional resources.
How children's funding project helps


We investigate creative funding approaches to fill the gap between current investments and target investments.


We collaborate with leaders and research partners to determine which funding sources are viable options in a given context.


We coach advocates through the selection of a funding source to pursue and the creation of an action plan or strategy for securing additional funding.

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Contact us to find out how we can help in your community.