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Northern California Funders Invest Nearly $1 Million in Youth Organizing

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO – The Youth Power Fund is pleased to announce a total of $870,000 in grants to 29 youth organizing groups in Northern California. The fund was launched in 2019 by foundations and donors that recognize the importance of youth organizing and its role in sustaining a vibrant, inclusive society. To this end, the fund invests in young people of color, particularly young Black and Indigenous leaders, who are creating the world they want to live in by reimagining and transforming communities and systems.

In 2020, the fund issued its first round of grants, awarding $30,000 each to 25 organizations. This second round of grants are also unrestricted grants in the amount of $30,000 each, for a one-year duration, with a planned second-year extension of the same amount.

In an effort to expand the impact of the Youth Power Fund, this round of grantmaking was extended beyond the San Francisco Bay Area to include far Northern California, Sacramento, and the Central Coast. Grantee organizations plan to use the funding to address issues such as mental health, migrant justice, environmental justice, lowering the voting age, closing prisons, and more. Beyond the grants, the Youth Power Fund helps strengthen the ecosystem of youth organizers, funders, and key partners; build capacity of youth organizing groups; and center youth as active leaders in grantmaking.

Youth leaders have been integral to the fund’s launch, design, and grantmaking decisions. “It was really great to learn about new organizations through the process,” said Joaquin, a 17-year-old organizer with the GSA Network who helped review applications for this round of funding. “Feeling like we made good decisions made me feel excited to see these organizations blossom and do good work.”

Young people imagine a future where they heal themselves so they can heal others, and where they lead with hope and courage to create a more just future for all. The past two years have exacerbated challenges faced by youth and their families, and at the same time presented opportunities for deeper, more intersectional engagement and activism. Working in communities hardest hit by COVID and racial injustices, organizers have provided direct services as well as healing spaces for impacted youth.

The fund’s second round of grants were supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Crankstart, The East Bay Community Foundation, the Gerbode Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, SF Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families, San Francisco Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Stuart Foundation, Susie Sarlo Family Fund, The California Endowment, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

The Youth Power Fund is eager to connect with additional funders interested in supporting this work. Learn more. To discuss partnership opportunities, please contact Kate Seely at kseely[at]ncg.org.