How do you get young men to go to school when their attendance numbers are dwindling? You do what former AFL player and coach Gerard Neesham did and use football as an incentive.

This was the beginning of the Clontarf Foundation. The long-term plan is to improve the academic outcomes for adolescent boys from indigenous backgrounds.

Since being launched in 2000, Clontarf school attendance rates have been more than 80 percent at its 59 schools throughout the country.

This type of program is why the Coca-Cola Australian Foundation Community Grants initiative was set up. Aimed at supporting disadvantaged youth aged between 12 and 25, up to 40 grants are given out annually and vary in size from between $1,000 to $10,000.

“These grants are a great opportunity for local community organisations to receive financial assistance to continue the positive impact they make,” said Julie White, chair of the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation.

“Since 2002, these grants have provided valuable support to community organisations assisting marginalised youth. We are looking forward to supporting the next round of grantees and encourage all organisations that support marginalised youth to apply.”

A grant application form can be found online. Applications close on March 27, 2015.