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Youth Leadership and Youth-Led Activism Grants

Grants to New York City Nonprofits for Programs
that Prepare Young People for Leadership Roles

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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New York Community Trust (NYCT)

Deadline Date:

03/31/20 Postmarked


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Grants to New York City nonprofit organizations for programs that prepare youth for leadership roles. Funding is intended to support projects that assist individuals in becoming community advocates, to address such issues as public reform, social problems, gender equity, and racial justice. Grants will be awarded for programming in the areas of youth leadership development and advocacy for girls and young women.

The New York Community Trust funds projects that provide transformational youth leadership programming to young people ages 13 to 24 in two categories: 

1. Youth Leadership Development

Competitive submissions to this category will help young people learn to challenge systemic issues and position themselves as leaders for life. Funded projects will use curricula, workshops, and experiences to prepare young people to:

  • Advocate for change in their communities and/or organize to reform public systems;
  • Investigate social problems, as well as the historical and political context of those problems, and develop solutions; and/or
  • Include their voices in new Citywide initiatives, and meet directly with and provide input to State and City policy makers.

2. Advocacy for Girls & Young Women

For this category, funding is awarded for programs that build on the recent surge in youth activism and rising public awareness about gender inequity and gender-based discrimination and its impact on girls and young women. Projects addressing these issues must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • The project is designed to engage groups of female-identified youth in organizing or advocacy, including but not limited to activism pertaining directly to gender equity. 
  • The project engages young people across the gender spectrum in organizing or advocacy aimed at advancing gender equity and addressing the unique needs and concerns of girls and young women.

For both grant categories, priority will be given to organizations with projects that serve young people from and/or address the needs of low-income communities in the outer boroughs and/or historically underserved populations.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 188286

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

NYCT expects to award approximately $1.7 million in grants ranging from $60,000 to $140,000 over two years, including $1 million in Youth Leadership Development grants and $700,000 in grants supporting Advocacy for Girls & Young Women.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or have a 501(c)(3) as a funds administrator.

Eligible organizations must be located in and serve New York City.

Priority will be given to organizations with:

- A clear track-record of working with young people over time; and
- Demonstrated expertise in a relevant issue area (e.g., gender equity, racial justice, immigrant rights, juvenile justice, educational reform, etc.).

Standalone youth councils are not a priority for this RFP, except in cases where they are embedded within and helping to advance a specific campaign or advocacy agenda.

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals must be postmarked by March 31, 2020.

Interested nonprofits may apply for either or both types of grants. Those that do wish to request funding for both Youth Leadership Development and Advocacy for Girls & Young Women must submit a separate proposal for each. Agencies will not receive more than one grant.

Grants will be announced by October 2020.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

- To apply, first submit the completed proposal coversheet:
- Next, send the proposal to:

Ms. Sheila Dinkins
The New York Community Trust
909 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10022

For questions about Youth Leadership grants, please contact Roderick Jenkins, Senior Program officer for Youth and Workforce Development, at

For questions about Advocacy for Girls & Young Women grants, please contact Leigh Ross, Program Officer for Girls & Young Women and Arts Education, at

Phone: (212) 686-0010
Fax: (212) 532-8528

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York

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