Posted on May 5, 2018
The Next Generation Fund is a response to a growing call from frontline organizers and leaders to learn from restorative and transformative practices in order to support a rising generation of social justice leaders and nurture sustainable approaches to organizing and community building. The Fund is anchored by the Ford Foundation and developed in partnership with the Movement Strategy Center’s Innovation Center.
Next Gen Fund Background
The current era is marked by social movements of remarkable scale. Occupy, #BlackLivesMatter, Standing Rock, gun violence prevention, and the immigrant rights movements are all largely led by young people–more specifically youth of color, young women, immigrant and queer youth. Their lived experiences are marked by inequality and injustice, and within the current cultural and political climate, young organizers are increasingly targets of physical and online attacks. Amidst this climate, young leaders and youth-led organizations are integrating approaches that focus on resilience, healing and the transformative power of building a community of justice through organizing.
What the Next Gen Fund Seeks to Support
The Next Gen Fund is a one-year grantmaking and learning initiative at the intersection of youth, social change, resilience, and healing. First, this fund is rooted in the belief that transformative organizing practices are integral to supporting young leaders, advancing social change, and developing sustainable organizations. We understand transformative organizing to hold 5 core elements:
- It is grounded in youth or multi-generational base-building strategies, connecting power across a broad set of people within communities;
- Through leadership development, it applies and builds skills;
- Personal transformation, healing, and growth is what allows for its resilience; it embodies systems change campaigns, trying to shift the broader conditions toward community liberation and self-determination;
- It centers movement building as core to connecting a broader set of communities and issues.
Secondly, the Fund centers the leadership and experience of young people organizing with communities most impacted by systemic inequality with an emphasis on communities of color, immigrants, women, and LGBT people. Young people challenge the very systems that inflict deep and often generational trauma on them and their communities. The Fund aims to learn from and support approaches where organizing itself is a restorative resilient and transformative practice.
The Next Gen Fund will provide a one year grant to youth-led or youth-centered organizations and individuals engaging in restorative practice and transformative organizing as part of their work. We seek to learn about a range of resilience practices including but not limited to:
- traditional practices indigenous to the people and communities in which young people live and organize;
- social justice-framed social and mental health services;
- contemplative and holistic practices incorporated from a variety of lineages;
- restorative justice models;
- new, and experimental forms of healing and restoration.
The Fund seeks LOIs from individual practitioners, organizations, networks, and coalitions that integrate restorative practice and transformative organizing approaches. We understand there is a diversity of approaches and this Fund will prioritize efforts that incorporate youth and multigenerational base-building, leadership development, systems change campaigns, and a movement building approach.
The Fund is open to individuals, 501c3 not-for-profits, fiscally sponsored projects and funds of other designations; an organization without a c3 status nor formally affiliated with a fiscal sponsor is welcome to apply. Individual practitioners are encouraged to apply in partnership with organizations or programs that represent a base of young people. Individuals, like entities applying to the fund, must have a demonstrated track record in racial, gender, LGBTQI justice with a proven record of working with young people of color advancing social change efforts through organizing.
LOIs should demonstrate how the proposed work centers the leadership and lived experiences of youth of color, immigrant youth, young women, and LGBTQI youth in advancing restorative practice for social change.
Prospective Grants and Grant Awards
The Next Gen Fund will disburse at least $1million in grants. The LOI process will serve to more deeply understand the landscape of individuals and entities advancing transformative organizing and resilience practices. Based on the LOI we will create an invite-only RFP process to help determine final grant awards.
Learning and Capacity Building
We will develop a learning agenda for the Fund (that will be supported by additional funds beyond that which we are providing for grants) that will include the possibility of creating a cohort and/or learning community of practitioners and funders to advance knowledge, understanding, impact and support for transformative organizing bolstered by restorative practices. For example, depending on appetite and need, as well as resources, we will consider support for grantee identified convenings to support the connection and development of the field of restorative practice, healing and resilience to advance transformative organizing and change for and by youth and their communities.
Process + Timeline
The online LOI application form can be found here Please feel free to copy this link into your browser, as well, to access the LOI application:
LOI submissions will be accepted until May 14, 2018.
The LOI serves to help us better understand this growing field. We thank you in advance for sharing your good work. We anticipate a high volume of applicants and recognize the funding pool will be unable to support every request.
LOIs will be reviewed by a team of stakeholders comprised of funders, organizers, and practitioners committed to supporting and learning from restorative practice and transformative organizing approaches. This team will analyze the data and the resources to date to best assess the most effective use of funds to support the field.
The Next Gen Fund Fund seeks a grantee pool that reflects the diversity of practices (traditional healing and spiritual practices, new and experimental practices, mental and social health supports that bring a social justice perspective, etc.) and methods of implementation (individual, organizational, networks etc.).
Select LOI applicants will receive a Request for Proposal by mid-June. Final applications will likely be conducted through virtual/phone interviews, with options for applicants to submit audio, video or written applications.
Applications will be assessed and awards will be made by August 2018.
For any questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org