RESOURCE

The GenPower Labs: Organizing to Win Lab Request for Proposals (RFP)

About Tier 1: Organizing to Win Lab

The Organizing to Win Lab will support a broad range of youth-led and multi-generational organizations across the United States addressing the most pressing issues of the moment. This annual grantmaking and capacity building program will cultivate a peer learning community centered on honest reflection and authentic conversations among organizers. The program will include sessions to strengthen assessments of sociopolitical conditions, tools to internally evaluate organizing methodologies, and opportunities to grapple with peers regarding the strengths and limitations of youth organizing. Organizations completing this program will better understand their organizing in the context of long term power building. Our 2021 inaugural cohort will include 35 organizations and we anticipate to grant each organization $25,000.

Goals

Groups selected to participate in The Organizing to Win Lab will strengthen relationships through a peer learning community rooted in vulnerability, transparency, and a commitment to collective movement building, with an aim toward:

  • Increasing capacity for long-term strategy and power building by examining organizing campaigns, approaches to base building, and leadership development models.
  • Building collective understanding of the conditions that led to the current political moment and assessing the role young people play in catalyzing multigenerational movements

Program Overview 

The Organizing to Win Lab will present a series of virtual sessions on strategic education, offer capacity building tools, and foster a peer learning space throughout the course of one year. The sessions, facilitated by Grassroot Policy Project, will combine interactive lectures, small group discussions, and space to grapple with various organizing models. There will be assigned readings and/or videos. Throughout the process, participants will complete mini assignments to reflect on their organizing methodology and power building approaches.

The strategic education offered in this program is intended to establish a common framework among participants for assessing their organization’s current work and thinking about what kinds of shifts in organizational strategy may be necessary to win meaningful social change. We will do an introductory analysis of U.S. Racial Capitalism and the ways in which race, class, and gender intertwine to shape the social and political conditions of this country. This will involve taking a closer look at how the system has functioned over the past 40 years to create the levels of inequality and repression that our communities are currently living through. 

Participants: 2-3 participants from each organization are required to participate in all cohort activities. This should include one Executive Director, Organizing Director, or Lead Organizer and 1-2 Youth Organizers or additional staff/key leaders. 

Time Commitment

The Organizing to Win Lab will hold 14-16 virtual workshops over the course of one year. Workshops may range from 1.5-3 hours. The total amount of time commitment is 45-50 hours. 

Applicants must:

  • Have a 501c3 IRS designation or a fiscal agent
  • Be a base building organization with an explicit commitment to anti-oppression and a practice of running grassroots organizing campaigns (FCYO's Definition of Youth Organizing
  • Practice shared decision making power with youth in determining organizational direction and center young people of color, gender oppressed and/or working class young people 
  • Be committed to grappling with questions of effective power building strategies 
  • Be willing to be honest and vulnerable about the strengths and limitations of their current and historical approach to organizing and organizational model
  • Commit to have at least one organizational leader defined as someone who has significant decision making power or influence within your organization and one additional organizer to participate in the full virtual program 

Preference may be given to: 

  • Black-led and Indigenous-led organizations 
  • Organizations in areas with less philanthropic resource (refer to FCYO’s 2020 Funder Scan: Investing in the Power of Young People)
  • New and emerging organizations looking to strengthen their organizing methodology 
  • Cohorts of organizations in networks, alliances or regions looking to jointly build power; organizations will apply individually and name their network, alliance, etc

This Project will NOT fund:

  • Organizations that provide direct social services that do not have a youth organizing and social change component (refer to FCYO's Definition of Youth Organizing
  • Publications, reports, workshops, classes, conferences, media events, arts, or theater productions unless they are a part of an ongoing community organizing effort
  • Research, litigation, or legal organizations unless it is a part of a larger community organizing effort
  • Individuals
  • Organizations located outside of the United States
  • 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.)

Application Process 

If your organization is interested in applying to The Organizing to Win Lab, please follow instructions on how to apply via the Survey Monkey portal. The deadline to submit applications is August 20th at 11:59pm PT. The application will require you to provide basic information on the organization, answer some demographic information, upload attachments, and respond to narrative questions. For the narrative section you will have the option to write your answer or submit a 10 minute video. 

Submission of a proposal does not guarantee approval of and receiving a grant. All applications will be reviewed by FCYO staff and partner organizations from the field. We anticipate that your organization will be notified in October regarding our decision concerning your grant application. 

Should you have questions about the program please contact jennifer@fcyo.org  

We will host an informational webinar on July 29th at 10:00am PT. To register for our informational webinar please click here; https://bit.ly/fcyoowl

Follow these steps to begin the application process;

  1. Go to https://fcyo.smapply.io/prog/genpower_labs_organizing_to_win_lab/
  2. Click “Register” to create an account Or click “Log in” to access your account
  3. Click on Organizing to Win Lab to begin application process
  4. Be sure to save your work if you choose to return to it at a later time
  5. If you choose to upload a video response to answer the narrative questions, please make sure your video format  is; mp4, .avi, .mov, and no longer than 10 minutes. Keep in mind there are 4 narrative questions, please segment your answers accordingly.  
  6. Remember the portal will close on August 20th at 11:59pm PT

Should you experience technical difficulties navigating Survey Monkey,  please refer to the SurveyMonkey FAQ and a helpful video. If you continue to experience technical difficulties please contact luis@fcyo.org 

Documents Necessary for Upload

  1. 501(c)3 IRS Determination Letter (for your organization or fiscal sponsor)
  2. Most recent IRS 990 form (for your organization or fiscal sponsor)
  3. Fiscal sponsorship agreement or letter (if applicable)
  4. List of Board of Directors
  5. Organizational budget for the current year 
  6. Most recent financial statement (audited if available)
  7. Signed & completed IRS W9 form