Youth Funding Youth Ideas (YFYI) is a grant-making and education program that uses a youth-led model for social justice philanthropy. We utilize a human-centered approach because we understand that social issues are best understood and addressed by those who experience them directly. Our vision is to support community funded, innovative solutions through creative processes for social justice work, led by young people. Since 2003 we have funded 200+ youth-led projects by providing over 2.5 million dollars and countless hours of individualized support. 


Our Mission

YFYI is a youth-led program that seeks to foster young San Franciscans with the opportunity to expand on their leadership goals by funding their project ideas. You bring the ideas. We bring the tools and support!

Working in this program was the first time that I realized that not only did youth of color have the ability to make our voices heard, but that is was necessary to break the chain of poverty and hardship that so many of us had been a part of.
— Felix, YFYI Participant

Our Model

Grounded in evidence-based practices, YFYI’s program design embeds youth development in a youth employment model. Each program year, YFYI hires participants as Community Funders, to work 6 to 10 hours weekly during the school year and up to 15 hours per week in summers. 

YFYI has a unique 5-part design:

1. The YFYI team is composed of 10 Community Funders, who are responsible for the design and implementation of program in its entirety.

2. A far-reaching outreach program to recruit grant applicants that reaches out to disconnected youth throughout the city.

3. A user-friendly grant application process that offers online and paper applications and supportive technical assistance from Community Funders on program design as well as proposal preparation. Unsuccessful applicants receive advice on how to become more competitive.

4. Support for funded projects, including: 2x-month site visits or check-in calls; quarterly trainings for grantees; peer support network; and publicity, e.g. features in the YFYI monthly newsletter.

5. An explicit social justice lens for all grant making, ensuring that all funded projects are creating larger social impact.