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Collaborative Fund for Youth-Led Social Change Launches a New Initiative

11/2/2001:   The new Ms. Foundation Collaborative Fund will support and strengthen up to 12 innovative, community-based organizations that combine positive youth development and social change action with a gender-conscious approach. The fund is seeking applications from groups across the country that involve youth in the design and leadership of programs that, in turn, help build the individual and collective skills of youth to address challenges in their communities.

To be eligible, programs must be local 501[c]3 organizations (not state or national programs, although they can be local branches of such groups). Programs must also involve youth and women in leadership and in their boards. Eligible programs with a vision and agenda for youth-led social change are invited to submit Letters of Intent by November 30, 2001. Information on the grant program, an eligibility check list, examples of grantee programs, and forms are available at www.ms.foundation.org/publications, click on the "New! Collaborative Fund for Youth-Led Social Change" to open the pdf file.

Grant awards of $35,000 per year for up to three years will be awarded to organizations serving youth, ages 9-18. Proposals must be received by February 1, 2002. Grant recipients will be notified by June 30, 2002.

The Fund is committed to increasing the knowledge base about current approaches in the fields of positive youth development, youth civic engagement, and gender-conscious programming. The Ms. Foundation will work with grantee partners to identify capacity-building needs. Grantees will be able to participate in regional and peer trainings, visits to other organizations, and one-on-one staff consultations. A joint learning project might include documenting program components that support youth in moving from the identification of an injustice, to actual leadership, to social change action, and then to support for programs that make this transformation possible in girls-only and in mixed-gender settings.

Funding partners, along with the Ms. Foundation, include the Diana Princess of Wales Fund (U.S.), Dobkin Family Foundation, Girl’s Best Friend Foundation, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, The Moriah Fund, Starry Night Fund, and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado.

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