The purpose of the Missouri 4-H Center for Youth Development & Missouri 4-H Foundation Innovation Grant is to aid and support those individuals or teams who exemplify innovation, accomplishment, and commitment in the design and delivery of a unique 4-H program or audience reached.

Innovative 4-H programs provide Positive Youth Development through new program efforts, partnerships, and collaboration to expand 4-H to all Missourians.

Awards will be granted to new innovations. This program should meet the highest standard of program quality and innovation and at the same time advance the field of positive youth development. Some examples of an innovative program may engage a new audience or the expansion of a current audience, a new program subject matter area, a new delivery method or some other creative approach or evaluation process that is new or will improve our work. An innovative program could be a new approach to a current program or the beginning of an entirely new effort.

In addition to financial awards of up to $500, award winners will be recognized for their achievement

  • August 15: Initial Applications Due; if all funds are not used, additional applications will be accepted until all funds are distributed. Additional applications will be reviewed monthly.
  • September – June: Work of mini-grants carried out; Impact & Replication information shared.


Please prepare this information in ONE document that is no longer than 4 pages with the 6 sections below and submit it using the Submit Application Button Below.

  1. General Information: Name of program, primary contact, names of team members (specialists, staff, youth leaders, volunteers, partners), and names of supervisor(s) who have given their approval. Name of organization to receive the funds (i.e. Extension Council, 4-H Council).
  2. Summary of Innovation — Limit 50 words, to be used for marketing.
  3. Detailed Description of Innovation Program — include type of innovation, intended target audience, and if applicable, collaborative efforts (see assessment criteria for all information needed).
    1. Include how the proposal contributes to the advancement of positive youth development.
    2. Include details about the target audience including (1) numbers of participants and (2) how the program will reach an audience that has been underserved by 4-H.
    3. Include details about innovation in terms of partnerships and collaborations.
  4. Potential Program Impacts
    1. Identify expected outcomes of program and how the program will be evaluated.
    2. Include how you plan to recognize the Missouri 4-H Foundation and its supporters.
  5. Program Replication Plan
    1. Describe what you plan to do to encourage replication (i.e. presentation, articles, etc.). Opportunities to present to colleagues will be available.
    2. Provide an action plan on how the innovation program will be replicated. (Include target audience and reach, description of replication activity and timeline.)
  6. Budget — include how funds would be spent and what dollar amounts.
    1. Include an explanation of how the funds requested clearly match the program description. Funds should not be used for MU Extension 4-H salary.
    2. Include in the narrative or budget how the funds granted would be used to leverage additional funds and support. Though matching is not required, it will be considered in selection criteria.


At the completion of this program, the team will submit a report to Missouri 4-H is for YOUth Report.

Additional presentations to 4-H staff may also be required.

Assessment criteria:

  Possible score
Application Submission Requirements: All information included, max of 3 pages, narrative and budget are clear, etc. 10
Description of Innovation: Program represents a new innovation; description is clear and concise; why was innovation needed for the intended target audience; collaborative efforts of team and community partners; impact of program. Including number of participants, reach to new audiences, scope of audience (local, county, region, or state-wide). 30
Program Replication Plan: A clear replication action plan is provided; innovation will benefit other 4-H programs/areas. 30
Budget: A clear budget is provided; total amounts within the amounts available to allocate; funds needed are one-time only. Funds are used to leverage other support. Sponsors will be recognized. 30
Total 100

These projects were selected from applications submitted by 4-H teams of community partners to receive $500.

  • Youth and Caregivers IDI Experience — Jefferson County
    New 4-H clubs of both youth and caregivers will be created to complete the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) together. The IDI is a cross-cultural assessment of intercultural competence used by organizations to build intercultural competence and achieve diversity and inclusion goals. These clubs will meet regularly to discuss their own intercultural competence and goals to move forward as well as those of their club as a group. The goal is to help 4-H be a more diverse and inclusive program.
  • Chick in the Classroom Goes Virtual — Northwest Missouri Region
    COVID-19 won't stop Chicks in the Classroom! This fun, hands-on 4-H opportunity focusing on egg and poultry development has been converted into an interactive, "flipped classroom" for Missouri schools. Program innovations overcome current limitations on traditional learning by providing limited-contact materials, virtual expert support, and engaging activities for youth.
  • KEY Youth Center — Lincoln County
    Homeless youth need specific interventions offered in a safe setting away from the hazards of street life. A SPIN club at the KEY Youth Center in Lincoln County, will help youth achieve their personal goals, learn life skills and make a positive transition into young adulthood.