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Youth Organizing

The Hill-Snowdon Foundation has made grants in support of youth organizing since 2000, making it one of the most enduring supporters of the youth organizing field in the country.  We are committed to supporting youth organizing because  low income youth of color suffer severe social and economic deprivations in this society and youth organizing helps low income youth of color build the power to influence critical policy decisions, secure material changes in their communities and challenge the prevailing social deficit stereotype.  Ultimately, HSF wants to move the leadership of low income youth of color and other marginalized youth to the center of the social, political, economic and cultural life of American society, thus helping to ensure that these youth can thrive.  We believe that youth organizing is an essential means to achieve this, as well as, “Building a Movement for the Ages”, thus revitalizing and ensuring the sustainability of social justice movements in the US over the long term.

Over the last few years, we have seen youth organizing evolving towards a multi-generational approach, and in so doing, achieving broader impact, scale and scope. We have seen the broader organizing field integrating multi-generational organizing as well. Consequently, our Youth Organizing Program Area will focus exclusively on multi-generational organizing, because we see it as a very effective means of securing systemic changes necessary for low income youth and their families to thrive.  We will also share best practices on how to develop and integrate multi-generational organizing into community organizing groups and coalitions.

By adopting this focus we anticipate the following outcomes:

  • Larger scale and more substantive changes and improvements for low income and marginalized youth and their families.
  • A greater number of groups adopting and effectively employing a multi-generational model.
  • Substantively expanded roles for youth in social justice organizations and the movement overall.
  • A more stable and expanded base of funding that allows youth to organize to help their families and communities to thrive.

Specifically, we will support two types of Multi-Generational Organizing (MGO) groups: Model MGOs and Emerging MGOs (see Eligibility section below)


Beginning in Fall 2012,  we will prioritize the following criteria when considering new groups for funding:

Model MGOs are youth or adult organizing groups that:

  • Are committed to and have well defined and effective models of multi-generational organizing;
  • Have had a more significant policy impact because of youth and adults working together;
  • Hold leadership roles in  MGO coalitions & alliances.

Emerging MGO are youth or adult organizing groups that:

  • Have a track record and commitment to multi-generational organizing, but are still developing their MGO model.
  • Have a track record of organizing wins and that have the potential to secure broader scale change.
  • Work in coalition with other social justice organizing groups.
  • Primarily located in the US South
  • Must employ a community organizing approach to systems, institutional or policy level change (we do not support youth leadership, advocacy, service programs that are not grounded in a community organizing model).
  • Engage in multi-issue organizing
  • Employ civic engagement as a strategy
  • Employ a sophisticated racial and gender justice frame


Consideration for funding with the Hill Snowdon Foundation is by invitation only. 

Due to budget constraints, consideration for new grants will be extremely competitive over the next three years.

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