The Listening Fund’s Advisers’ Fund

The Listening Fund’s Advisers’ Fund is now welcoming applications! We want to hear from organisations who are working to support young people who have experienced injustice into positions of leadership.

The design of this call has been led by 10 young people from across England. In pursuit of The Listening Fund’s goal – making organisations more accountable to young people – our advisers want organisations to shift power to those they exist to serve, creating leadership opportunities which enable young people to shape strategies, services and systems.

Breaking down the language

What do we mean by injustice?
Young people who are or have been disadvantaged because of poverty, social exclusion, discrimination or any other contributing factors. We are particularly interested in work which supports young people who have been affected by a combination of different factors.

What do we mean by youth leadership?
We want young people to be able to hold organisations to account: for their services, for their ways of working, and for how they advocate on young people’s behalf. As the power and resources needed for this accountability are typically only accessible to those in leadership positions, our advisers’ want to:

  • Support young people and organisations to work together, re-examining and redefining what skills, qualities and experiences are valued in leadership roles, and thereby challenging ideas about who can be a leader.
  • Invest in work which explores different leadership models and structures, strengthening organisations and improving their work by including young people’s experience and expertise
  • Help to build a pipeline of opportunities which gives young people access to long-term leadership roles.
Who we want to fund

This funding is for:

  • Youth-focused charities and non-profit organisations in England that are supporting young people (aged 10-30)
  • Organisations with the skills to deliver the work alone, or in partnership
  • Either new work to create leadership opportunities for young people, or ongoing work where additional funding will accelerate impact and progress

This funding is NOT for:

  • Work whose primary objective is to train young people in leadership skills with no defined, long-term opportunities to exercise them
  • Work which does not recognise the need for change within organisations and/or systems, expecting young people to operate within structures which simply uphold the status quo
  • Tokenistic work which exploits young people
  • Organisations with a turnover under £200,000 per annum or in excess of £2m per annum. There will be a follow-on call for grassroots organisations in Autumn 2022

We are particularly looking to fund work that:

  • Has meaningfully involved young people in its development
  • Improves organisations’ accountability to the young people they exist to serve
  • Focuses on working with young people who have experienced injustice to bring their experience and expertise into leadership roles
  • Is ambitious about realising changes in an organisation’s existing leadership to create better opportunities for young people, and is excited about where that might lead
  • Explores new leadership approaches which are grounded in young people’s strengths and interests
  • Centres creativity and joy in both the process of change and the final outcome
  • Is rooted in an orgnisation’s existing relationships with young people and past experience of involving them in the organisation’s work
  • Creates ideas, opportunities and learning which have the potential to have influence beyond a small cohort of young people
  • Has potential for longer-term impact by, for example, influencing organisations’ and/or systems’ cultures and ways of working
  • Is progressive in values and willing to challenge the status quo
Questions we want to explore

Learning from funded work is an important part of our collective impact. We will work with all partners to define our final learning goals, but some of the questions we are interested in addressing through this funding include:

  • What are the emerging or established forms of youth leadership which do not currently get the funding they need?
  • In the different organisations and systems which affect young people across society, where is youth leadership most absent and how can this be addressed?
  • What support, structures and approaches are effective in supporting young people into leadership roles?
  • How does increased and improved youth leadership affect an organisation and its activities?
  • How are the young people who step into leadership roles affected by these opportunities?

Our learning partner – Collective Discovery – will work across all funded work, supporting organisations with their reflections and working with them to share their knowledge.

Assessment criteria
  • We will be scoring applications according to the originality of the approach, the need for the proposed work, the potential for learning, and the organisation’s commitment to/track record of listening to young people who have experienced injustice
  • We will also be assessing the mix of partners within the cohort, with an ambition of funding a range of partners across England, working with different groups and ages of young people, in a variety of different ways
Q and A

Please note this page will be updated after our online Q and A webinar on DATE which you can sign up for here.

How much funding is available?
We have allocated a total budget of £500,000 for the lifetime of this funding programme. The maximum grant for which you can apply is £40,000 p.a.

What are the timescales of this funding?
Funding is available for 2 years.

Can I apply for unrestricted funding?
We expect that most grants will be restricted to specific programmes of work, unless the whole organisation’s mission is aligned to the objectives of this funding programme, in which case we will consider unrestricted funding.

Can I apply if I am already receiving a grant from one of the Listening Fund’s funders?

Can I apply if I am already receiving a grant from the Listening Fund?

How to apply

Click here to apply

Our online application form can be accessed here. If you need support with your application, please contact We are happy to accommodate different access needs.

Key dates

  • Open for proposals w/c 23rd May
  • Online Q and A webinar at w/c 20th June
  • Deadline for proposals 6pm Friday 22nd July
  • Further questions and clarifying conversations: we will set up phone calls/video calls as necessary with shortlisted organisations in August
  • Final decisions in mid-September
  • All funding agreed by the end of September