FCYO Moment to Movement Fund 2020

Request for Proposals

Our Strategy:

As a society, we are at a pivotal moment. Growing wealth inequality, systemic racial and gender oppression, and climate change represent real threats to a healthy democracy and livable planet. Our actions over the next few years will determine whether we will move toward a more just, equitable, and sustainable world or one driven by fear, division, and violence. Addressing these issues will require grassroots movements that can build meaningful power to challenge injustice. Throughout history, young people have always been at the forefront of social movements. Our best hope is to support a generation of young leaders to be the driving force for transformative change. In particular, we must support the leadership of young people of color, low-income young people, and gender oppressed young people who have been most directly harmed by these issues and are making up the core of growing youth movements.

From Parkland and climate strikes to the Dreamers and the Movement for Black Lives, young people have been demonstrating that they are ready to organize and tackle our most pressing issues. They have won policy changes, mobilized hundreds of thousands of people, and captured the attention of the nation. In order to address the challenges of this moment, however, youth led organizations will need a greater level of coordination, resources, and power.

FCYO believes that to address the challenges of this moment, organizing groups must be able to build the power to transform economic and social conditions for our communities and society as a whole. We define power as “control over the conditions that affect our communities and society…the ability to make and/or influence key decisions.” Building this kind of power means gaining positions within key decision-making bodies while also applying pressure from the outside to hold them accountable. To do this, organizing groups must to build bases at significant scale, develop broad strategic alliances, and elevate public narratives that promote a vision of social justice and true democracy. To further understand our strategy, check out the Youth Power Lab Points of Alignment.


About the Moment to Movement Fund:

The FCYO Moment to Movement Fund will provide one-year grants to youth organizing groups responding to the current moment in ways that build long-term power for low-income young people, young people of color, gender oppressed young people and their communities. We will seek to support a diverse set of established and emerging organizations addressing the most pressing issues of our time. Priority will be given to organizations with a clear strategy for building power through base building, strategic alliances, and shifting public narratives. FCYO looks forward to strengthening our relationships with a wider range of organizations doing critical organizing in this moment. We currently have funds for 17 grants of $20,000.

This is a one-year grant opportunity. We recognize that one-year grants are not the best way to support long term organization building and view this as a tactical fund to increase resources for timely work rather than a regular way for organizations to meet their budgets.


2020 Focus: Climate Justice and Voter Engagement

Given our limited resources, in 2020 we will focus on two key, timely issues: climate justice and non-partisan voter engagement.


Climate Justice:

Climate change represents an existential threat to life as we know it but also an opportunity to forge new alliances for a more just and sustainable world. Communities of color face the harshest impacts of climate change and other environmental damage. There is a growing youth climate movement in the US and around the world, but it cannot be successful without the leadership of young people of color. Our funds will support groups led by young people of color advancing climate justice in the ways their communities define it. We will also support the leadership of young people of color in the climate movement. 


Voter Engagement:

Increasing numbers of youth organizing groups are using non-partisan voter engagement and other electoral strategies as a way to build the base of their organizations, shift public debates, and develop civic power. The 2020 election is a critical opportunity to ensure the meaningful participation of young people of color, low-income young people, and gender oppressed young people in our democracy. We will support youth organizing groups that are using various non-partisan electoral tactics to increase participation of their communities in the 2020 elections as part of a broader strategy to build community power.


Anticipated Timeline:

  • February 14 - Release RFP
  • February 20 - Informational Webinar
  • March 20 - Proposals Due
  • April 17 - Grant Decisions


Applicants must:

  • Actively engage low-income young people, young people of color, and/or gender oppressed young people ages 13-25 in organizing collective action for social, economic, or racial justice.
  • Involve young people in the leadership if 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 groups that:

  • Clearly articulate an organizing campaign related to our 2020 priorities of Climate Justice or Voter Engagement.
  • Have a clear strategy for building power that is grounded in a concrete power analysis, centers base building, and builds strategic alliances. (See Our Strategy above or the webinar for this initiative for more information)    
  • Have a track record for successfully engaging young people in organizing for social justice (We will consider proposals from newer organizations, but they should be able to demonstrate some capacity for organizing)
  • Projects addressing climate justice should articulate how they will support young people of color advancing climate justice and the leadership of young people of color in the climate movement
  • Voter Engagement will only be supported in the context of sustained leadership development and base building, not as a standalone piece of work. Applicants should be able to articulate how the voter engagement work fits into a larger strategy for building power, developing youth leadership, and expanding their base.
  • Preference may be given to organizations in areas with less philanthropic resource.


This fund will NOT support:

  • Lobbying, support for legislation, or support of candidates of any kind. Any election related activity including voter registration or get out the vote must be fully non-partisan and in compliance with state and federal law. (For more information see this resource from Alliance for Justice.)
  • Voter engagement activities that are not tied to a broader strategy to build long-term power for low-income young people, young people of color, and their communities. (For more information see page 40 of this resource from Alliance for Justice)
  • Voter registration as a stand-alone activity or dedicated use of these funds. While your organization, may be able to conduct non-partisan voter registration, due to the nature of our funding, we ask that all grant proposals, not specifically dedicate any portion of this grant to voter registration activities in particular.
  • Organizations currently receiving funding through FCYO’s Pipelines to Power initiative.
  • Organizing that is primarily on 4-year college campuses (With limited resources FCYO is focused on community-based rather than college campus-based organizing)


Help is available. The nonprofit, Alliance for Justice, runs a free hotline that can help answer questions about your grant proposal and how to ensure your advocacy activities remain nonpartisan. You can reach them at 1-866-NP-Lobby or Be sure to tell them that you are working on a grant proposal supported by private foundation funds.


About FCYO

Founded in 2000, the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) is a dynamic collective of funders and youth organizers committed to supporting youth organizing as a strategy for youth development social change. Our mission is to ensure that young people have the resources, capacities, and infrastructure they need to plan leading roles in organizing for a more just and democratic society.  Grounded in deep partnership between funders and organizers, our work is organized around the following goals:

  • Move Resources to grassroots youth organizing groups on the forefront of social justice to help them seize strategic opportunities and address critical needs
  • Increase the capacity of youth organizing groups to build meaningful power and cultivate the strategic leadership and holistic development of young people
  • Connect broad cross-sections of youth organizing groups to share tools and lessons, increase alignment, and sharpen strategies for building power
  • Organize funders to learn from one another, align funding strategies, and expand resources for youth organizing
  • Build knowledge among funders, organizers, and the general public about the impact of youth organizing on broader movement building and individual youth development


Informational Webinar

Please join us for an informational webinar on February 20 at 3pm ET where we will discuss this and other FCYO programs and answer any questions. Register here! A recording of the webinar will be posted on our website after it is complete.


RFP Process


Step 1: Youth Organizing Landscape Map Profile

Please complete or update your organizational profile on the FCYO online mapping tool 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. If you already have an organizational profile just make sure it is up to date


Step 2: Online Application

Please submit your application through our online portal (CLICK HERE). The online application has three parts: Organizational Information, Narrative, and Attachments. Details on each section are below.


1. Organizational Information:

  • Organization Name
  • Name of Fiscal Sponsor if Applicable
  • Address
  • Contact Person Name
  • Contact Person Phone
  • Contact Person Email
  • Organizational Budget
  • Age of young people involved (check all that apply):
    • 13-18
    • 18-25
    • 25-30
  • Priority Issue (check one):
    • Climate Justice
    • Voter Engagement
  • A one paragraph summary of your proposal


2. Narrative:

Please complete a narrative answering all of the following questions below.

  1. What do you hope to achieve through the work for which you are applying? How does this project relate to our priorities around Climate Justice or Voter Engagement? (See 2020 Focus above) – Limit 500 words
  2. What actions might you take to reach your goals? – Limit 500 words
  3. Who is the constituency of young people who will be engaged in this work? Tell us about their age, race, gender, and other important characteristics. How many young people are involved? – Limit 250 words
  4. How will this work build power for your community? How will you build the base of your organization, develop strategic alliances, and/or shift public narratives? (See Our Strategy above and the webinar for this initiative for more information) – Limit 500 words


3. Attachments:

Please submit the attachments listed below:

  • 501(c)3 Determination Letter
  • Board of Directors
  • Organizational Budget for the Current Year
  • Most recent audited financial statement


Submitting Your Proposal

Please complete the application proposals using our online portal (CLICK HERE) by March 20 at 11pmPT. You will be asked to upload documents during the application process. If you have any questions please email

Submission of a proposal does not guarantee approval of and receiving a grant. All applications will be reviewed by FCYO and we unfortunately have a limited amount of funds for this project. You will be notified on or about April 17, 2020 regarding our decision concerning your grant application.