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Are you part of a youth-led social movement and looking for ideas about how to resource your work? Or a donor, philanthropist, or institution championing youth power? If so - this space is for you! Here you will find tools, connections, and new ideas for both youth activists and their allies.

This Resourcing Youth-led Groups and Movements playbook resulted from a year of research. We listened to what activists, donors, youth allies and other enabling organisation said about realities, trends and potential solutions for mobilising funding and non-financial resources for young activists, especially in the global south.

Read or listen to the stories of Lebo, Amanda, Dumsio, Priscilla, Elena, Christian, and Bonnie, as they share their experiences and challenges sustaining their work, echoed by young leaders across Latin America and Africa. You will find creative exercises you can use, that invite youth and donors to rethink worldviews and principles around resourcing civil society in the 21st century.

How can this playbook help you?

For youth-led groups or movements:

  • Practise team exercises to strengthen thinking around resourcing.
  • Explore how to go beyond donor support and integrate alternatives for sustainability.
  • Improve communication with donors.
  • Reflect on key themes & learning that emerged from our research ‘Landscape and Trend Analysis on Youth-led Groups and Movements in Latin America and Africa’.

For donors and institutions supporting youth:

  • Better understand challenges that youth-led groups and movements face resourcing their work.
  • Reflect on your role in supporting youth-led groups and movements.
  • Design strategies to support youth groups and movements of different shapes, sizes, and characters.
  • Improve your communication with youth-led groups and movements.

The Stories

Recommendations

The playbook outlines recommendations for:

Donors, allies, and potential enablers

1. We invite you to truly listen to young activists and be more thoughtful, curious, and open to different narratives.

2. Make sure that your programmess provide resources and support for areas that are key to young people, including individual livelihoods, mental health, flexibility, art, core funding, as well as training, guidance and mentorship opportunities.

3. Build quality relationships with youth-led groups and movements, communicating with them with clarity, respect, and care. Make sure to balance the power of your words and promises.

Youth organisers

1. Continue experimenting, being creative, and pursuing sustainability in a broader sense.

2. Keep on creating communities with other groups and organisations to explore new resourcing models and promote boundaries, self-care, and collective care together.

3. If you are woking with donors, be selective and communicate your values, offer, challenges, and needs openly and honestly.

Read more in the recommendations section of the playbook and the exercises included in each story, which can help you take the first steps towards changes!

Join the conversation

Did you read the playbook, one story or did some of the exercises? We want to know what susprised you, inspired you or helped you in your work. Send us your feedback and share it with others!

This is a really targeted playbook – especially to the ‘traditional donors’ so some of what is highlighted as recommendations is what Global Greengrants Fund’s Next Generation Climate Advisory Board actually tries to do. I think it will go a long way in encouraging donors to think more critically about their approaches and be more responsive to youth movement needs. I feel that the aspect of youth themselves (and communities they live in) as funders of youth movements is not fully explored and this may take away from youth agency – it is a fact that a lot of youth movements are ‘funded/resourced’ (volunteering and in-kind contribution as well as monetary contribution as membership fees etc) by youth themselves and I think donors/funders appreciate this and recognize it as a model.

Winnie Asiti, Coordinator, Global Greengrants Fund’s Next Generation Climate Advisory Board

We worked with young gender equality and feminist activists to design an app, which includes an activist community page and a youth-friendly database of funding opportunities. We, too have been wrestling with our “ego” as an organisation. We decided to co-design the app with others and agreed that it would be unbranded. I love the idea in this playbook that resources are energy.

Gerogia Booth, Head Youth Advocacy an Activism, Plan International

In my role at Global Fund for Children, I recognize that shifting power to youth groups requires creativity, flexibility, and relationship building. To be a stronger partner for youth organizations, I hope to become a better listener as youth groups navigate challenges and transitions. and as they experiment with bold new leadership or funding models. I want to remember that young people creating safe, caring spaces for youth voices and organizing is enough; growth or winning do not matter as much as youth believing in themselves and their power to create change.

Vanessa Stevens, Program Officer, Advocacy and Movement Building,
Global Fund for Children