Open Monday, December 4 - Friday, December 15, 2023

Youth Social Action Project

Request for Proposals

We invite 501(c)3 youth-serving organizations serving middle and high school students to apply for funding for youth social action projects. These projects are defined as those in which youth identify and develop a plan to address a social issue in their community.

Please join us for an Orientation Meeting

Tuesday, November 28
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Register HERE


The RFP opens on Monday, December 4 at 9:00 am and
closes on Friday, December 15 at 11:59 pm.
Awards will be announced in mid-February 2024.

To qualify for a Youth Social Action Project grant, your organization must:

  • be a 501(c)(3) organization or fiscally sponsored by one.
  • attach a copy of your IRS letter or a letter from the sponsoring 501(c)(3) stating their willingness to be the fiscal sponsor.
  • be a youth-serving organization working with middle and high school students.

Before applying, you must:


Here is some additional information regarding the Youth Social Action Project:


Metro United Way (MUW) is partnering with the University of Louisville’s Center for Social Justice Youth Development Research (CSJYDR) to launch a youth-centered social action project grant, to cultivate opportunities for youth in Louisville to be change agents in their communities. A Social Action Project10 is a project in which youth identify and develop a plan to address a social issue in their community. This project should encourage collaborative, responsible, and critically engaging citizenship. This youth-centered initiative encourages collaboration and redistribution of traditional power dynamics between youth and adults.

Any organization that works with or serves youth ages 10-24 can apply for up to $5,000 in funding to support a youth social action project in partnership with youth in their respective organization or community. Applications should incorporate equity models, detail youth-driven project components, and demonstrate a clear intent to ignite positive agency, organizational, and/or community change.

MUW will award and distribute investments based on the review committee’s recommendations. Funds will only be distributed to organizations, not individuals. The grant review committee will be made up of representatives from:

  • UofL’s CSJYDR Youth Advisory Board and Leadership Team
  • Mayor Greenberg’s Office of Safe & Healthy Neighborhood’s YES! Youth Cabinet
  • Metro United Way’s Youth Success Team

Investments may be used for the following: 

  • Food/supplies to support project-planning meetings with youth
  • Youth stipends
  • Direct project costs (NOTE: no more than 50% of funds can be used for project personnel cost)

Application Overview and Scoring

In this application, you will be asked to highlight how your social action project will:

  • Include and amplify youth voices and social change efforts
  • Identify and address the needs of your agency/organization/community
  • Include efforts to advance social justice and community change

Attach a copy of your IRS letter or a letter from the sponsoring 501(c)(3) stating their willingness to be the fiscal sponsor.

Inspirational Youth Social Action Projects

Below, we have provided two examples of youth-centered social action projects to inspire the design and implementation of your proposed social action project.

Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA) Reform Louisville project

KYA worked with a group of young people to focus on empowering youth of color (from neighborhoods negatively impacted by violence and justice system involvement) to realize their power in speaking up for change and teaching youth healing strategies they can employ to address the trauma of violence in the community. The group decided the best way to implement the project is to release the content through TikTok.

The team of young adults worked on a series of 30 TikTok videos posted every day in November 2023. These videos aimed to target youth and young adults, particularly during school breaks, so they chose November to post them. The videos focused on essential self-preservation skills and tools intended to help the audience work toward healing. These videos followed the SPIRE model: spiritual, physical, intellectual, relational, and emotional healing. The videos included physical activities such as basketball, boxing, and breathing exercises. Additionally, content was centered around spending quality time with children through activities like coloring, walking, playing, and watching cartoons. Other videos they have made included artwork, cleaning/cleansing their space, affirmations, and will be complete with different healing strategies.

The Bookworks

A team of four young people (15 to 20 years old) were hired to coordinate programs for teens and young adults relating to social justice topics. Programs included showings of feature films/documentaries and discussions on how to take action in the community. The team selected six topics, one for each week of the summer program: racial and cultural identity, public safety and the justice system, gender identity and orientation, economic justice, mental health, and healing, and healthy intimate relationships. Participants attending the programs received free books, food, and the opportunity to earn a gift card.


The Youth Social Action Project is a fantastic opportunity to make a positive impact, and we look forward to your organization’s participation. Mark your calendars for the orientation meeting and prepare to inspire change!

If you have any questions or encounter issues during the process, please contact TJ Delahanty


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