Grants for charities and other qualified donees across the province to engage Indigenous and racialized immigrant and refugee young people in staff leadership and board governance.
Develop grants: Up to $20,000
Test grants: Up to $50,000
Status: Youth Grants are not being offered at this time.

Visit the Grant Program Updates page to learn more about what funding opportunities will be available in 2023.

Through our work in Fostering Change and Fresh Voices, Vancouver Foundation has learned that our fastest growing youth populations – Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee youth – face disproportionate barriers to influencing change within our social, civic and public systems. They have far fewer opportunities to access the kind of support that would allow them to advocate for public policy change, participate in civic engagement activities, and/or become leaders in the non-profit sector.

The LEVEL Initiative will build on these learnings and address the racial inequity experienced by Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee youth and young adults by investing in their leadership capacity and supporting their future work on issues that affect them.

Youth Grants

The LEVEL initiative consists of three strategic pillars:

  • LEVEL Youth Granting:Investing in the capacity of the charitable non-profit sector to engage youth in staff and board governance leadership.
  • LEVEL Youth Policy Program: Investing in the capacity of young people to understand and influence policy change by providing equitable training and leadership opportunities to navigate the public policy landscape, and develop new tools and skills to influence, shape, and advocate for policy changes that are relevant in their own communities.
  • LEVEL Youth Organizing: Investing in the capacity and civic engagement of grassroots youth groups in response to the need of a robust youth social infrastructure. A deepened commitment and investment in youth social infrastructure requires strategic funder leadership and partnerships; sustainable support and working collaboratively with grassroots groups of young people, particularly young people of colour, to increase access to civic engagement opportunities and invest in their community mobilizing efforts to affect systemic change on issues of equity and justice. More details to emerge in early 2020.

Develop Grants

Develop Grants are short-term grants that generate ideas and build capacity and common ground for shared action and learning by community stakeholders.

Grants may support work such as determining organizational readiness or convening stakeholders as a cohort (geographic region; sector-specific e.g. the arts; social services) in development of practice and/or policy changes. For example, organizations could explore what decolonizing their board structure or recruitment and retention strategies might look like. Activities are typically completed within six months. We encourage organizations to work together through a cohort model that is place or sector based. Matching funds are not required for this grant application.

Test Grants

Test Grants help project teams test ideas and learn what works. Grants may support work such as piloting an initiative at the staff or board level.

For example, a board mentorship program could be used to recruit young leaders as board members or funds could go towards addressing current inequities by increasing job security for Indigenous or racialized immigrant or refugee young adults (through paying a living wage, providing benefits, full-time employment, etc.) that also provides a pathway to leadership within the organization and/or sector. Activities are typically completed within 12 – 18 months. We encourage organizations to work together through a cohort model that is place or sector based. Matching funds are not required for this grant application.

Develop and Test Grants do not fund:

    • Projects that take place primarily outside of BC
    • An organization’s core operational expenses
    • Project expenses that have been incurred prior to the application date or that we feel should be covered by other funding sources
    • Event sponsorships
    • Bridge funding, debt retirement, reserves or mortgage pay-downs
    • Endowment matching grants
    • Capital and public infrastructure projects (e.g. libraries, schools, health care facilities)
    • Travel to and/or attendance at conferences, competitions, symposia or annual events
    • Bursaries, scholarships and awards