The New Options Project (NOP), launched in 2011, was a three-year, $28M investment of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The goal was to create innovative tools and approaches for connecting out-of-school job seekers, ages 16 - 24, with meaningful career opportunities and to provide employers with a potential source of untapped talent.
To achieve this goal, NOP implemented a two-pronged strategy. First, NOP provided seed funding for market-based innovations that would thrive beyond the 3-year NOP incubation period. Second, NOP deployed a variety of strategies – including engagement initiatives, policy education, and journalism – aimed at building support among and shifting the perceptions and actions of key stakeholders. The innovations, influence and perception shift efforts created during this incubation phase produced significant results and have gained the support and attention of other partners and investors, and corporate partners.