Pipelines to Power

FCYO Launches Pipelines to Power, a 3-year cohort based grantmaking initiative to support young people on the forefront of social, racial, and economic justice 

The Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) has announced the launch of a new grant making initiative supporting low-income young people and young people of color who are at the forefront of organizing for social, economic, and racial justice. The new initiative, Pipelines to Power, supports youth-led and intergenerational organizations to strengthen community organizing strategies to build the power necessary to win meaningful change for historically disenfranchised communities across the U.S. In addition to providing grant funds, this initiative will create a national learning community of organizers focused on progression in theories of change and political analysis, and will support organizations to experiment with new strategies for building power in the current moment. 

Young organizers from Black, Latinx, Asian, Native, immigrant, undocumented, LGBTQ, queer and trans communities have been at the forefront of movements to end the school to prison pipeline, protect the human rights of immigrants and LGBTQ people, end police murder and brutality of Black people, and address gender and reproductive justice. While these organizers have had great success, many are articulating limits to current organizing models in achieving their long-term vision of equity and justice for their communities. These limits are related to the need for power to compel decision makers to make real transformative changes. Many youth organizing groups are already beginning to consider new power building strategies including increasing scale, building new alliances, experimenting with new models, and increasing voter participation of young people of color. Achieving just and equitable communities requires the construction of real civic power. Now is a critical moment to support growing youth movements to develop strategies to do just that.

Pipelines to Power will have the following core components:

  • Grantmaking: Each organization will receive a general operating grant of $40,000 per year for three years.
  • Peer Learning Community: Each organization will identify two individuals involved in the leadership of the organization to participate in a peer learning community. Participants will learn from leading thinkers on power building, share lessons from their current and past organizing with each other, and be supported to develop and implement an individualized strategy for how to build the power needed to achieve their vision for their community.
  • Experimentation Fund: FCYO believes that this is an important time to experiment with new strategies for building power: Therefore, after one year of participating in the learning community, organizations will receive additional funding to attempt a new power building strategy. Lessons from these experiments will be shared in the peer learning community.
  • Sharing Lessons: Throughout the process FCYO will document lessons and will create opportunities to share learnings with the broader field through publications, toolkits, webinars, and workshops at our semi-annual Youth Power Convening.

Over 130 organizations applied for this initiative. Far more organizations were qualified than we were able to support, thus demonstrating the need for additional funds to support this work. Through a competitive grantmaking process, FCYO selected a 16 organization grantee cohort. The organizations in the Pipelines to Power cohort reflect the diversity of the youth organizing field, have demonstrated their ability effectively organize low-income young people and young people of color, and are engaged in critical reflection about how to build the kind of power that can transform communities in this moment. We are honored to support the work of these sixteen organizations over the next three years.

Pipelines to Power Cohort: