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Themed grant round

Testing for impact – open grant round

Applications are now closed.

Entry deadline:
8th December 2023


The Youth Endowment Fund exists to prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence. We do this by finding out what works and building a movement to put this knowledge into practice.

We’ve launched our Testing for impact grant round to learn about the effectiveness of different approaches to preventing young people becoming involved in crime and violence.

In this grant round, we are specifically looking to fund programmes that are well-established and ready for an efficacy evaluation. This means that you will need to demonstrate that your project is able to reach and support a large enough group of children to undertake this type of evaluation (see below for further details).

Testing for impact is an open round. Rather than focusing on one specific theme – as we’ve done in previous YEF-themed grant rounds – this time we’re accepting applications from projects working across our eight focus areas, as outlined below. However, all organisations that apply for this grant round must be able to demonstrate that they are ready for a large-scale evaluation.

Scope of programmes we’ll fund in this round

We are looking to fund and evaluate projects that are delivered in either England and/or Wales and fit within one of our eight focus areas:

  • Diversion – how do we best support arrested children to prevent them becoming involved in violence?
  • Education – what should happen in schools, colleges and alternative provision to prevent children becoming involved in violence?
  • Family support – how do we best support families facing challenges to help them create a safe, loving environment at home?
  • Neighbourhood – how do we reduce crime and violence in specific neighbourhoods?  
  • Policing – how does policing best prevent violence – including through working with other organisations where the police are not the lead?
  • Positive activities – how do we use constructive activities, like sport, drama and employment, to prevent children becoming involved in violence?
  • Therapies – how do we use therapy to keep children safe from becoming involved in violence?
  • Trusted adults – how can a trusted adult outside the family help keep a child safe from becoming involved in violence?

For more details about our focus areas, please click here.

Within these focus areas, we are also interested in the following specific programme types which are delivered in schools, colleges or community settings:

  • Knife education programmes – programmes that aim to prevent knife crime by educating children about the risks and harms caused by carrying a knife.
  • Social skills training -programmes that aim to develop children’s ability to regulate their behaviour and communicate effectively.
  • Relationship violence prevention -programmes that aim to prevent violence in intimate relationships.  
  • Bystander interventions to prevent sexual assault -programmes that help young people to identify and intervene in potential sexual assaults.

Scale of the evaluation

In this grant round, we are looking for projects that are able to recruit and support a large enough group of children and young people to be robustly evaluated. The minimum number of children and young people you will need to recruit for the evaluation depends on the type of intervention you’re delivering. Please see below for indicative numbers.

Primary prevention programmes

For programmes which are universal in provision and aimed at all young people.

Reach required: at least 1,000 young people

For secondary prevention programmes

For programmes which are aimed at young people who are at risk of involvement in youth offending.

Reach required: at least 800 young people

For tertiary prevention programmes

For programmes aimed at young people who have already been affected by violence, offending and/or exploitation.

Reach required: at least 400 young people

Are you ready for an impact evaluation?

We are looking for projects which are ready to be evaluated via an efficacy study. The following eligibility criteria will be used as indicators that a project is ready:

  • A strong and clear Theory of Change.
  • Pre-existing evidence of impact via a Quasi-Experimental Design study, or a Randomised Control Trial; and/or has been delivered to over 500 young people.
  • A clear and consistent intervention which means it could be picked up and delivered easily by others (i.e. it’s formally or informally manualised).
  • A coherent training plan, CPD and supervision, including a clear quality assurance process.

Delivering a project which is evaluated is a lot of work for an organisation. The following eligibility criteria will be used as indicators that an organisation is ready:

  • Experience of being involved in a large-scale evaluation (with more than 100 young people in the evaluation).
  • Staff who have an understanding or experience of evaluation and research design.
  • Experience of delivering large-scale projects, and/or scaling up delivery.
  • Experience of delivering at scale to the young people you intend to work with.
  • Demonstrable experience of delivering in a culturally sensitive and equitable way.

Duration of project delivery and funding

We support projects to start quickly and find our approach works best for projects that can be delivered effectively over a limited time frame.  In this round, we expect the maximum project delivery time to be 24 months and are keen to hear from projects that can deliver within a shorter period.

Application guidance

As we have very specific eligibility criteria for this round, please ensure you read our application guidance carefully before starting your application.


To learn more about our Testing for impact grant round, watch a recording of our application workshop.


23 October 2023
Grant round opens
8 December 2023
Applications close
Late January 2023
Shortlisted applicants informed
Early February 2024
Assessments: Interviews with shortlisted applicants
Mid March 2024
Initial approval
End of May 2024
Appointment of an independent evaluator
June to August 2024
Co-design with evaluator
October 2024
Final approval
October 2024 onwards
Delivery begins


Applications opened on Monday 23rd October and closed at 5pm Friday 8th December 2023.


If you have a question about this grant round please read our FAQs. If your question is not covered please email