The Pathways Fund offers grants totalling £60K-£90K over three years (£20K-£30K per year) to emergent youth-led groups and collectives across England. We anticipate making 5-7 grants in 2023.
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In July 2022, the Pathways Fund was launched as a pilot in direct response to feedback from a convening of young changemakers that there was a lack of multi-year funding available for youth-led groups. We funded four groups with a total commitment of £300K (£100K a year over three years). We have worked closely with the pilot grant partners, as well as consulted a group of youth-led groups to officially launch this fund in 2023.
We see this fund as a ‘Pathway’ to support groups who are emergent to become more established.
- emergent groups as those who have some experience in doing work for social justice but may struggle to access financial and other forms of support to develop their work and ideas.
- established groups as those who have a track record of impact, strong networks, and are mostly looking for financial resource to ensure they can sustain work that is already happening.
This fund differs from our other youth-led funding programme, Challenge and Change, as this funding is not for individuals or groups with an early-stage idea. Instead, it looks to fund emergent youth-led groups who have been working together for some time and are ready to take the next step in their changemaking journey.
Funding and support offer
- £60K-90K over three years (£20K-£30K each year).
- Funding is unrestricted, meaning that grant partners can use their grant money on whatever they think will help them best achieve their goals, as long as this is within charity law and for public benefit.
In the past grant partners have used this funding for:
- Employing new staff
- Paying existing staff/volunteers
- Developing and improving their internal operations and governance
- Bringing in consultants to support their work
- Lobbying and campaigning costs
- Delivery costs
As well as our unrestricted funding, Pathways Fund Grant Partners will gain access to the following additional support:
- Quarterly catch-ups with our Youth Led Change Lead
- Training on charity law and safeguarding (if needed)
- Invitation to our annual Youth Led Change Day
- Resource pack (to be developed in 2024)
Who this fund is for
This fund is for youth-led groups that are working to change unjust laws, policies, practices, and cultures that have directly affected their lives and the communities of those they share these experiences with.
Groups must meet all the following criteria:
- Be youth-led: Founded by young people with over 70% of the leadership being 18-30 years old at the point of application.
- Be lived experience led: Over 70% of the leadership have direct, first-hand experience, past or present, of the oppression they are fighting to change.
- Be social justice focused: Working to change unjust laws, policies, practices, and cultures.
- Be based in and delivering work in England.
- Have an annual income this year of between £10K-£250K.
- Have a group agreement or constitution in place setting out how the group intends to work together. Please note: For non-constituted groups, we can support you with this if you are successful.
- Have a bank account in the name of the organisation, or if not be willing to be fiscally hosted by an organisation that does. Please note: We will support you in finding an appropriate fiscal host if your application is successful, and you request support with this.
We would especially like to hear from groups currently underrepresented in social justice funding, including:
- Groups that are led by and for youth that:
- are trans and/or queer
- are black and racially minoritised
- are working class
- are from religious minorities
- have a disability
- have migrant or refugee status
- Groups that work at the intersection of multiple forms of oppression.
- Groups that are working on climate justice.
- Groups that centre community organising in their work.
- Groups that are based outside of London.
Who this fund is NOT for
- Individuals or an organisation with only two people.
- Groups who have never been involved in or done any social justice work before.
- Work where the young people do not have full independence for the work and are accountable to a larger organisation. For example:
- a youth advisory board
- a youth-led programme of work that is part of a larger organisation that they must report to
- an organisation that states they are youth-led where more than 30% of the board, senior leadership team and/or wider organisation are over 30.
- organisations who want to launch work on behalf of a young person or group of young people.
Eligibility and criteria
Will you fund work for a one-off project if the group meets the above criteria?
It is unlikely we would fund one-off projects, with the exception of if the project clearly states longer-term ambitions for the work to create change, on top of meeting all are other criteria.
Will you fund groups projecting an increased income above the income threshold next year?
Yes, as long as you meet all other criteria.
Will you fund groups with an income less than the threshold but next year anticipates falling within the boundaries can I still apply?
Yes, as long as you meet all other criteria.
Will you fund a group that has done work in social justice before separately, but is newly formed?
Yes, as long as you meet all other criteria and have not formed specifically for this funding.
Will you fund a group when there are only two members currently involved but the hope is to expand this with your funding?
We ask all groups to have at least three people within its government. We also will not fund groups where all members live together and/or are related.
How long would it take from application to my grant being approved?
If your proposal is for over £20,000 per year, we will put it forward at one of the Trustee meetings in January, April, June, September, or November after which you will be notified immediately of a decision. If your proposal is under £20,000 per year, the Blagrave team will review your application within four weeks, and you will be notified immediately after a decision is made.
What reporting will be required?
We do not expect you to write any impact reports and instead only ask for financial reporting at the end of each year of your grant, before we make your next instalment. As well as these financial updates, we will ask for a longer conversation at the end of the three years. At this point we will be particularly interested in what you have learnt and how your work evolved over the lifetime of the grant.
Examples of current grant partners
Here is a flavour of some of the work we have funded before…
- Radical Body – fiscally hosted by Social Change Nest CIC, Radical Body are a disability arts organisation producing radical new performances by and for disabled people, with a particular focus on improving access to careers in the arts for people who have difficulty leaving their homes. Radical Body are using our funding to support their core costs, as well as to employ two new part-time staff: one improving their partnerships and collaboration work, and the other focusing on their access and safeguarding work.
- Young Justice Advisors – incubated by Leaders Unlocked, Young Justice Advisors are a group of young people with lived experience of the Criminal Justice System, creating a platform for other young adults in and with experience of, the justice system and working with a range of agencies to influence policy and practice. Young Justice Advisors have used our funding to employ two part-time roles: one to support their transition to becoming their own independent organisation, and one so they can continue to develop their programmes for young people currently in the justice system.
How to apply
The final deadline for applying in 2023 is Friday 13th October, 9 am.
The Pathways Fund is an ongoing funding opportunity, meaning funding decisions are made on a rolling basis.
There is a two-step application process:
- Outline proposal form: a short 200-word summary of your work or video/audio equivalent. Once you submit your short outline proposal, we will be in touch with you within a month to let you know whether we are interested in taking your proposal forward, and if we are, share the application form with you.
- Application form: a slightly longer 600-word application that also includes additional information including legal and financial documentation. Once you submit your full application, we will be in touch with an outcome within six weeks for grants under £60K (£20K per year), and within three months for grants over £60K (£20K per year).
Please note: We allow alternative ways of submission that are not written for both stages of the application process. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please do not hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org .