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Youth Power Fund

Launched in 2019, the Youth Power Fund is a network of foundations and individual donors committed to creating more equitable, just, and effective social, economic, and political systems in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. While our individual missions span a range of issues such as advancing racial equity and economic inclusion, expanding access to affordable, quality health care, and improving life outcomes for young people through education–collectively, we value the role of youth organizing groups in advancing justice and equity for their communities today. We also value the intentionality with which they cultivate and develop young leaders for the future. Our collaborative is anchored by two leaders in the field of philanthropy and youth organizing. 

  • Youth Organize! California anchors our work in the field and serves as a convener, capacity builder, and strategist for sustaining and deepening the field of youth organizing. 
  • Northern California Grantmakers serves as the pooled fund manager, grants administrator, and funder convener, drawing on our funder collaborative experience and expertise as the philanthropic membership association for Northern California. 

Learn more about the fund here

Steering Committee

YO! Cali, Northern California Grantmakers, East Bay Community Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, The California Endowment, San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and their Families, Stuart Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation 


We provide opportunities for foundations and individual donors to collectively cultivate a powerful youth organizing ecosystem with shared strategies to engage more young people, expand power, and address pressing issues. Working closely with aligned funders, researchers, and groups on the ground, and with the facilitation support of Youth Organize! California, the collaborative fund is committed to utilizing collective expertise to support emergent and established youth organizing and leadership development strategies throughout the region.

Long-Term Outcomes
We aim to support the increased capacity and effectiveness of youth organizing groups, advance a regional ecosystem of youth organizers, program leaders, funders, and key partners, coordinate with other regional collaboratives in California, and inspire funders to prioritize youth organizing and direct a larger share of resources to support the growth of this ecosystem. 

How We Collaborate 

Supportive Relationships: We engage in regular funder-to-funder and funder-to-organizer activities to build knowledge, understanding and trust. 

Shared Learning: We co-create a learning agenda to enhance our working knowledge by drawing on the expertise of participating funder and organizing partners, research from field and academic leaders, and insights from national colleagues like those in the Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO). 

Collective Action: Together, we will build and disburse a pooled fund in a manner that adds value for all our funding partners. Outcomes include creating a table where long-standing youth organizing funders can attract additional funding for their grantees; national funders can find local partners to attain regional impact, and funders who do not have a youth organizing strategy can harness youth power who are working on their issues. 

Participatory Grantmaking: We will bring youth leaders to the decision-making table, including their insights in reviewing applications and in the design of the grant processes. 

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The Youth Power Fund has completed the first grant cycle and is about to launch its second phase with an application process. In this second phase, we are prioritizing organizations that are led by (staff and board) and organizing youth people of color, women, immigrants, and LGBQ-TGNC (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, or questioning and transgender and gender nonconforming) communities who are actively working to dismantle white supremacy, especially, but not limited to, Black or Indigenous membership groups

In the first phase, we assisted organizations that are organizing young people of color – particularly, Black-led and Black-membership groups – in responding to, and recovering from, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn, even as these groups are actively organizing around education, immigration, youth incarceration, mental health, climate, and economic justice and conducting electoral campaigns such as Schools and Communities First and Vote 16. We are also engaging funders in a collective process to deepen investments immediately in youth organizing given the critical importance of the field at this moment. 

2022 Grantees

67 Sueños

67 Sueños works with marginalized undocumented youth and youth from mixed status families affected by high rates of violence, mass incarceration, deportation, and poverty. Using political education, trauma healing, activism, and introducing them to alternative life-changing experiences, 67 Sueños cultivates youth organizing and power building by guiding youth to trust their own process and reframe their stories as a source of power and resistance.  

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Arab Resource & Organizing Center

Arab Resource & organizing Center (AROC) is a grassroots membership-based organization that organizes our community towards justice and self-determination for all. AROC members build community power in the Bay Area by participating in leadership development, political education, and campaigns that challenge militarism, repression, and racism.

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AYPAL: Building API Community Power

AYPAL is a leadership development, community organizing and coalition-building organization that seeks to create healthy, safe, and thriving communities. AYPAL’s mission is to empower Oakland’s low-income Asian & Pacific Islander immigrant and refugee families to be leaders for school reform and neighborhood change.

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BAY-Peace supports and empowers Bay Area youth to transform militarism and other forms of violence. We offer a holistic youth leadership programs that integrate vocational development, artistic expression, socio-political education, community organizing, healing, and personal transformation.

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Black Organizing Project

The Black Organizing Project (BOP) is working for racial, social, and economic justice through grassroots community organizing and policy change.

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California Native Vote Project

The California Native Vote Project seeks to create historic advancements in Native American voter engagement and registration in California. We want to achieve equity for Native American peoples and increase our communities’ political participation throughout the state by registering thousands of voters for upcoming elections.

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Chinese Progressive Association

Founded in 1972, the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) educates, organizes, and empowers the low income and working class immigrant Chinese community in San Francisco to build collective power with other oppressed communities to demand better living and working conditions and justice for all people.
Chinese Progressive Association

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Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth

Coleman works to increase opportunity for all young people in San Francisco, primarily fighting to advance rights, safety, and full inclusion of low-income people of color. As quality education is key to future economic security, individual well-being, and social participation. San Francisco is considered a liberal bastion, but the racial achievement gap and the racial opportunity gap indicate how far we still need to go to achieve true equity.

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Communities for a Better Environment

Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) is one of the preeminent environmental justice organizations in the nation. The mission of CBE is to build people’s power in California’s communities of color and low income communities to achieve environmental health and justice by preventing and reducing pollution and building green, healthy and sustainable communities and environments.

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Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice 

CURYJ unlocks the leadership of young people to dream beyond bars. We look to young people to lead the way by transforming their community and investing in their healing, activism, and aspirations.

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Filipinos Advocates for Justice

For more than 40 years Filipino Advocates for Justice has been an advocate for immigrant, worker and civil rights and has sought to help the most vulnerable in the community navigate the challenges and hurdles of life in the US, particularly at-risk middle and high school-age youth, low-wage workers vulnerable to exploitation, newly-arrived immigrants and the undocumented.

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GSA Network

GSA clubs, or GSAs for short, are student-run organizations that unite LGBTQ+ and allied youth to build community and organize around issues impacting them in their schools and communities. GSAs have evolved beyond their traditional role to serve as safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth in middle schools and high schools, and have emerged as vehicles for deep social change related to racial, gender, and educational justice.

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Hmong Innovating Politics

HIP is a grassroots organization whose mission is to strengthen the political power of Hmong and disenfranchised communities through innovative civic engagement and strategic grassroots mobilization.

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HOMEY is a grassroots, non-profit organization rooted in San Francisco, California. For 20 years, HOMEY has unapologetically identified issues adversely affecting the youth and young adults in our community and we do something about it by empowering rather than enabling participants in our program. We do this through delivering hope, empowerment, leadership, culture and most importantly with love.

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Jakara Movement

Jakara Movement is a grassroots organization that strengthens community engagement and creates empowerment. By focusing on issues of civic engagement, education, health, and social justice, Jakara Movement inclusively engages large sections of the youth in various projects to strengthen their consciousness, foster education, and inspire activism. Though our work is inspired by Sikh principles, Jakara Movement is an inclusive and diverse organization, and our volunteers come from all backgrounds and cultures. Much of our work is done in collaboration with other community groups and nonprofits. We believe a world of engaged communities, strong families, healthy individuals and inspired youth is possible.

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Northern California Indian Development Council

The Northern California Indian Development Council works to meet the needs of American Indian communities by researching, developing, and administering social and economic development programs. NCIDC will provide support and technical assistance for the development of such programs in addition to working to conserve and preserve historic and archeological sites and resources.

NCIDC will work to foster culturally appropriate communication and services needed by American Indian people to achieve self-determination in the economic, social service, cultural, educational, employment, and related fields.

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Oakland Kids First

Oakland Kids First increases youth voice, leadership, and power to create engaging and equitable public schools where all students learn and lead. mission of Oakland Kids First (OKF) is to increase youth voice, leadership, and power and create engaging and equitable public schools where all students learn and achieve. 

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PODER (People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights)

PODER’s mission is to organize with Latino immigrant families and youth to put into practice people-powered solutions that are locally based, community-led, and environmentally just. We nurture everyday people’s leadership, regenerate culture, and build community power.

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Project WHAT! - Community Works

Behind every parent in jail or prison, there are children who are serving time as well. Social stigma, financial deprivation, household instability, and isolation are the markers of families whose parents are behind bars. Our work is twofold: to create a community that allows our young people to use their voice, pride, and power; and to support them in creating policy change that reflects the needs of youth and families with an incarcerated loved one.

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Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY)

Restorative Justice (RJ) is a set of principles, a philosophy, focused on mending broken relationships to create a better future. It is a fundamental shift in the way that we think about and do justice, in the way that we do community. What happens when we stop thinking about justice as “an eye for an eye”? What happens when we think about harm in ways that don’t involve retaliation or vengeance, but healing and transformation?

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RYSE Center

RYSE creates safe spaces grounded in social justice for young people to love, learn, educate, heal, and transform lives and communities.

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San Francisco Rising

San Francisco Rising builds the political power of working-class communities and communities of color in San Francisco to lead the way for democratic governance that prioritizes racial, economic and environmental justice.

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Save California Salmon (SCS)

Save California Salmon (SCS) is dedicated to policy change and community advocacy for Northern California’s salmon and fish dependent people. The goal of the organization is to support the fisheries and water protection work of the local communities and to advocate effective policy change for clean water, restored fisheries, and vibrant communities. SCS also supports youth and cultural action that overlaps with watershed action.

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South Bay Youth Changemakers

South Bay Youth Changemakers is a youth-led community organization building Asian American political power in the South Bay. Through community organizing, civic engagement, and narrative work, South Bay Youth Changemakers empowers young people to build more just and sustainable communities.

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SIREN | Services, Immigrant Rights & Education Network

SIREN’s mission is to empower low-income immigrants and refugees through community education and organizing, leadership development, policy advocacy, civic engagement and legal services.  We believe that all people regardless of legal status or nationality are entitled to essential services, human dignity, basic rights and protections, and access to full participation in society.

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Urban Peace Movement

Urban peace Movement builds youth leadership in Oakland to transform the culture and social conditions that lead to community violence & mass incarceration in communities of color. UPM’s model of “Healing-Centered Youth Organizing” supports young people to feel self-confident & hopeful while empowering them to work for healing, social justice, and a brighter future for all!!  

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Young Women's Freedom Center

Young Women’s Freedom Center is a leadership and advocacy organization led by systems-involved young and adult women and transgender gender non-conforming people of color who have grown up in poverty, worked in the underground street economy, and have been criminalized by social services such as foster care, welfare, and the mental health systems.

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Youth Together

Grounded in our commitment to peace, unity and justice, the mission of Youth Together is to address the root causes of educational inequities by developing multiracial youth leaders and engaging school community allies to promote positive school change.

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Northern California Funders Invest Nearly $1 Million in Youth Organizing

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.”

Read the Announcement


California Funders Announce Second Phase of Youth Power Fund 

September 8, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO -- Following a co-design process with youth leaders, youth organizing staff, and funders, a group of Northern California foundations launched Phase 2 of the Youth Power Fund, which supports nonprofits that organize young people in the region and advocate for social change. In the current political climate in our nation, the fund recognizes that this is a critical time to invest in the power of youth organizing.

Grassroots organizing contributed to a pivotal youth voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election, with an estimated 10 million young people ages 18-29 casting a ballot — approximately 16 percent higher than in 2016 — according to research from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. In California, voter registrations for young voters aged 18-23 have nearly tripled since 2016 — from more than 800,000 to over 2.4 million — according to Political Data. 

The Youth Power Fund has released a request for proposals and will announce Phase 2 grantees by the end of the year. Eligible organizations are led by (staff and board) and organizing young people of color, women, immigrants, and LGBQ-TGNC (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer or questioning and transgender and gender nonconforming) communities who are actively working to dismantle white supremacy, especially, but not limited to, Black or Indigenous membership groups. 

The Youth Power Fund centers youth in its design and grantmaking decisions. Phase 2 funding decisions will again be made in collaboration with leaders from Youth Organize! California, a statewide youth organizing network. 

“Before participating in the Youth Power Fund grant review committee, I had no experience with grantmaking ever. I learned a lot, especially about all of the youth-led organizations making real change throughout California,” said Joaquin, 16, who helped determine the fund’s first set of grants. Joaquin is a member of the Oakland-based GSA Network, an LGBTQ organization that empowers youth leaders.

Launched in 2019, the Youth Power Fund was developed as a result of foundations organizing and working together to maximize impact for collective change. Foundation participants provide funds and/or resources like staff time and are committed to relational work, community building, and community-driven grantmaking. Northern California Grantmakers and Youth Organize! California provide administrative and strategic support to the fund.

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

Investing in Young People on the Frontlines of Social Change

December 7, 2020

We forget, sometimes, just how young movement leaders often are. Representative John Lewis, who we lost this year, was only 21 years old when he and 12 other Freedom Riders launched a movement to protest illegal segregation on interstate busses. Looking back at his storied career as a champion of equity and civil rights, it is easy to see how Lewis’ experiences as a youth organizer set him on a lifelong path of civic leadership.

Youth organizing resonates with me on a personal level as well. Growing up, I was surrounded by youth leaders and organizers. The elementary school I attended in Oakland was founded by the Black Panther Party, and many of my teachers and mentors there were young adults who saw teaching as part of their work in advancing the movement for racial equity. They were young adults with a clear vision for the kind of community they wanted Oakland to be, and they drew on their experiences as organizers in their commitment to raising a new generation of activists and to creating a community where Black children and youth could thrive.

Read the Blog

California Funders Announce New Fund To Support Youth Organizing for Social Change

December 2, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- Today a group of Northern California foundations launched the Youth Power Fund, which supports nonprofits that organize young people in the region and advocate for social change. In the current political climate in our nation, the fund recognizes that this is a critical time to invest in the power of youth organizing.

Grassroots organizing contributed to a pivotal youth voter turnout in this year’s presidential election, with an estimated 10 million young people ages 18-29 casting a ballot — approximately 16 percent higher than in 2016 — according to research from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. In California, voter registrations for young voters aged 18-23 have nearly tripled since 2016 — from more than 800,000 to over 2.4 million — according to Political Data.

Read the Announcement

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Stay tuned for updates on the third round.