Funding Youth

The question is coming more and more often. For almost the entire decade I’ve been running The Freechild Project website, I’ve been flattered to be a resource to youth-serving organizations around the world who are looking for resources- especially money. But now it’s coming more often. And for a long time the majority of these requests have come from African nations who were looking to move forward – but now that tide has turned, and the majority of the requests for information and resources are coming from the US, Canada, and European nations.

I am not a funder, and The Freechild Project has no money to give.

However, I have worked hard to collect a significant list of resources for youth-led activism, which are located on Freechild’s page on “Funding Social Change Led By and With Young People.” The other thing that I’d add is that I have operated Freechild as a not-for-profit learning website for a decade, all along the way seeking to find the best way to sustain this venture. Working in nonprofits for 10 years before that, and while running CommonAction as a 501c3 nonprofit, I became rapidly familiar with the problems inherent in funding youth work of all kinds, and particularly with youth involvement. There are VERY LIMITED streams of money to support youth involvement, youth voice, youth activism, and youth engagement. Period. Those that do exist are extremely limited, and extremely small amounts, relevant to the overall field.

So I’m going to suggest two things to anyone working on funding youth involvement:

Read those links and think about what I’m talking about. Then reply to this post or email me directly with your thoughts –

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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