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LEVEL Youth Granting
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.
The LEVEL initiative consists of three strategic pillars:
LEVEL Youth Public Policy Program: Investing in the capacity of young people to understand and influence policy change
The LEVEL Youth Policy Program (YPP) brings together young people between the ages of 19 and 29 from across British Columbia who identify as being Indigenous or racialized immigrants or refugees, to provide 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
The LEVEL Youth Organizing pillar is a 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 late 2019/early 2020.
LEVEL Youth Granting: Investing in the capacity of the charitable non-profit sector to engage youth in staff and board governance leadership
LEVEL’s granting stream is available to charities and other qualified donees across British Columbia to engage Indigenous and racialized immigrant and refugee young people in pathways to staff leadership and board governance.
Types of grants
Develop Grants (up to $10,000)
These 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 i.e. 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 (up to $50,000)
These 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 the job security for Indigenous or racialized immigrant or refugee young adults (through paying a living wage, providing benefits, full-time employment etc.). Activities are typically completed within 12 - 18 months. Applicants can request up to 75% of their project’s overall costs, showing 25% funding from other sources, be it cash or in-kind.
Vancouver Foundation has a two-stage online application process. Stage 1 is a Letter of Intent, which consists of a brief proposal with responses to either one or two questions (depending on whether you apply for a Develop or Test Grant) to determine basic suitability. Once a fit has been established with Vancouver Foundation staff, a short-list of organizations will be invited to submit a full application as part of Stage 2.
- The Call for Proposals provides an overview of the program, assessment and eligibility criteria, important definitions and further information about the application process. Please download the 2019 Call for Proposals here.
- The Stage 1: Letter of Intent Application Guide contains step-by-step instructions on submitting a letter of intent and includes every question you will be asked throughout the Stage 1 online process. The Stage 2: Full Application Guide for 2019 is forthcoming and will be provided to applicants who are invited forward to the Stage 2 process.
LEVEL Youth Granting does 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
Week of June 24, 2019: Open for proposals
August 9, 2019: Deadline to submit Letters of Intent
September 23, 2019: Deadline to submit Full Applications (invite only)
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Joey Cheung, Grant Administrator
Contact Joey if you have questions about or need help with our online application system, or if you are a current grantee and have general questions regarding payments and reporting requirements.
Abeer Yusuf, Grant Coordinator
Contact Abeer for information about the application process, or to discuss the priorities of racial equity and youth engagement and/or general funding policies of the LEVEL youth granting.