Learning & Exchange Fund (2018 - 2019)


FCYO launched the Learning and Exchange Fund (LEF) in 2016 as a part of its Youth Community Organizing Resource Exchange (Youth CORE) – a larger FCYO initiative that has a principal goal of building a more powerful, interconnected youth organizing field in the United States. Other Youth CORE programs include a regular series of open webinars and a national youth organizing convening that takes place every two years. The purpose of the LEF is to support in-person organizational learning and relationship building between youth organizing groups across the U.S., helping to foster important connections sparked during our Youth CORE National Convenings and elsewhere, and support learning and strategy development opportunities with peer organizations. FCYO encourages applicants to develop a plan to share their learnings with the broader youth organizing field and will engage with participants who are interested in sharing key lessons learned through field-wide webinars, journey stories or sessions at FCYO’s National Youth CORE convening.

Youth organizers have been at the forefront of creating and fortifying movements for social change. Through powerful organizing and movement building efforts, youth leaders have achieved meaningful change that has improved the living conditions of immigrant communities, black and brown youth, LGBTQ communities and working families. The current political landscape poses threats to these very communities as they continue to fight for racial, economic and social justice in the face of policy agendas that attempt to deny basic human rights. We are living in a powerful moment in which opportunities to create spaces for youth organizers to learn from each other and hone organizing strategies are critical to the sustainability and growing power of youth led organizing work. The Learning and Exchange Fund will support groups engaging young people in this important work to connect with each other and strengthen their organizations at this critical moment.


The FCYO Learning and Exchange Fund will award grants up to $5,000 for youth organizing groups that articulate clear learning goals for Peer-to-Peer Learning Exchange projects with other organizing entities. Organizations that would like to learn from each other’s model and/or strategies will receive grant support to engage in a shared learning activity. Larger grants will be considered for multi-group collaborations. Applicants should be clear about what they hope to learn from the exchange and the level of commitment they have from potential partners. Groups are not required to name their potential partners as part of their proposal, however groups that have already established a connection with or a commitment from their desired partners will be given greater preference. To see descriptions of previous Learning and Exchange Fund grantees, click here.

Examples of the kind of activities we hope to support: 

  • A visit to another youth organizing group to learn about their model
  • Bringing together multiple youth organizing groups to learn about and discuss a particular topic
  • Convening a set of youth organizing groups to develop shared strategy and deepen alignment


  • Oct 1 - Release RFP
  • Oct 18 – Informational Webinar
  • Dec 14 - Proposals Due
  • By Early Feb - Grant decisions completed

Applicants must: 

  • Actively engage low-income young people and/or young people of color in organizing collective action for social, economic, or racial justice. FCYO is focused on young people ages 13-18 but will consider proposal from groups working with 18-25-year-olds as well.
  • Involve young people in the leadership of the organization.
  • Be a 501c3 or have a fiscal agent which is a 501c3 entity. Organizations without non-profit status or a fiscal agent should contact us to discuss possible options.

Preference will be given to projects that: 

  • Have clear learning goals and can demonstrate how learning or exchange will strengthen and advance the organization’s work
  • Already have buy in from each group participating in the exchange
  • Strengthen strategic alignment and deepen relationships of multiple youth organizing groups
  • Are anchored by groups that have a track record for successfully engaging young people in organizing for social justice
  • Demonstrate how learning or exchange opportunity will hone ability to increase power and/or engage significant numbers of marginalized young people for the long term
  • Include groups currently not part of an existing FCYO cohort

Submission Process

If you are applying as a group of organizations, select one organization to serve as the proposal contact and lead who will receive the funds.

Step 1: Online Profile

Please complete an organizational profile on the FCYO Youth Organizing Landscape Map at If multiple groups are applying, please make sure each group completes or updates their profile (NOTE: this does not apply for non-youth organizing groups that may be providing training or support to the project). If you have already begun or completed a profile, please update it with your most current information by logging in at We will use this as the first step in any application for FCYO programs. This site will also help us share information about the great work that youth organizers are doing with funders and the wider community. Please contact, for any questions or issues that arise with your map profile.

Step 2: Online Application

After updating or completing your map profile, applications may be submitted through our online portal found here. The deadline for submitting applications is 9pm ET, December 14, 2018.

To ensure you don’t lose time and work, we strongly encourage you to complete your application in Word before entering your questions into the online portal.

Submission of a proposal does not guarantee approval of a grant – all applications will be reviewed by FCYO and unfortunately, we have a limited amount of funds for this project. Applicants will be updated on the status of their application in early February 2019. Email with any questions, no calls please.

The full application information can be found below:

Org Info 

  • Organization Name
  • Name of Fiscal Sponsor (if applicable)
  • Contact Person Name
  • Contact Person Phone
  • Contact Person Email
  • Organizational Budget Number (projected, for your current fiscal year)
  • Age of young people involved (check all that apply):
    • 13-18
    • 18-25
    • 25-30
  • Amount Requested
  • A one-paragraph summary of your request (250 words max)


  1. What are your learning goals? What skills, abilities and/or relationships are you hoping to strengthen through this learning or exchange opportunity and why? (400 words max)
  2. What other organizations will be involved in this project? Please include information on who they are, how they will be involved and why you have picked them. If you have not yet identified partner organizations but plan to, please tell us what you are looking for and how you will go about finding them. (400 words max)
  3. What specific activities will you undertake to meet your goals and how will you measure success? (400 words max)

Attachments (Uploaded in PDF format; naming criteria: ORG NAME.501C3.pdf, etc.)

  • 501(c) 3 Determination Letter (for your org or fiscal sponsor)
  • Fiscal sponsorship agreement or letter (if applicable)
  • Signed & completed IRS W9 form dated in 2018