Alliance for Youth Organizing
The Alliance for Youth Organizing builds the progressive power of young people with authenticity, joy, and purpose.
The Alliance for Youth Organizing grows and strengthens a network of youth power-building organizations focused on advancing nonpartisan youth voter engagement and issue advocacy, building year-round local and state-based infrastructure, and creating lasting means of civic participation for all young people.
Over the past five years, the Alliance has expanded its affiliate and partner network and been a driving force behind state wins on a number of issues, from economic justice and democracy reform to climate change. The 2020 election’s record youth turnout shows that they, and the many grassroots youth organizations they support and partner with, are doing something right.
Grantmakers who want to see real change should commit to long-term sustained investment in the youth sector. Young people — with their joy, optimism, and innovation — will take it from there.
One of our favorite stories from the Alliance shows the power of combining storytelling and traditional organizing models.
In 2018, two Alliance Affiliates—Chicago Votes and Ohio Student Association— partnered with We The People (Michigan) to create the Midwest Culture Lab, with the goal of increasing the civic engagement of youth in the Midwest through cultural organizing. In deep partnership with artists, performers, and culture workers in their network, they created a framework for talking about issues in a way that would be compelling and authentic to their communities.
The ad below used that framework to advocate for criminal justice reform in Wisconsin. The Lab has now spun off to a new home at the Center for Cultural Power, and many of the Alliance’s affiliates are integrating cultural organizing into their daily work.
Recent grant history
|2021||General Support, leadership transition||$100,000|
|2020||General Support||$225,000 over 3 years|