Help us donate $1,000,000 to youth movements in Aotearoa

We are looking for 10–15 young organisers, activists and changemakers to join our decision-making committee

Laura O'Connell Rapira
5 min readJan 11, 2022


A yellow banner being carried by young people at a School Strike 4 Climate March. The banner says, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”. There are other protest signs in the background that say, “Youth for climate justice” and “The world is watching”.

Kia ora e hoa mā,

I’m excited to announce that I am convening a new philanthropic Trust that will be giving out $1m to youth movements in Aotearoa over the next five years.

The plan to establish five pools of funding that youth movements, community groups and collectives can apply for. We are especially interested in backing new and emerging movements that are led by young people with lived experience of the issues they campaign on.

Each pool is worth $120,000 and will be distributed at $30,000 per year for four years across these five areas:

  1. Decolonisation and Anti-Racism
  2. Climate Justice
  3. Economic Justice
  4. Disability Justice
  5. Takatāpui and Queer Liberation

Examples of the kinds of projects we’re looking for:

  • Rangatahi-led campaigns for #LandBack
  • Movements for economic liberation led by LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, MVPFAFF+ and/or disabled young people
  • A cross-cultural and multiracial group of young people working toward a racially just future
  • A collective of young artists and activists working to protect Papatūānuku

Each year, we will also distribute $40,000 in one-off grants, as follows:

  • $1,000 — $5,000 grants in response to crisis or opportune moments
  • Easy application process and light-touch reporting
  • Open applications accepted as long as funds are available

Any savings that are made in the administration will be distributed in addition to the $40,000.

To help us decide who should receive these grants, we are looking for youth movements who we will give small grants (e.g. $10k — $15k) to nominate someone to the decision-making committee.

We believe better decisions will be made about how we fund movements if those decisions are made by movement organisers.

We estimate the work to be approximately six days over the course of 2022 including a hui from March 18–20 (Covid dependent). All travel, accommodation and kai will be covered.

I’ve attached more information below and if you or someone you know is interested then please fill in this short Expression of Interest form by 5pm on Friday 28 Jan, 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Youth Movement Fund trying to achieve?

We back youth movements to change Aotearoa and the world, nurture solidarity and put social movement leaders in charge of decisions about movement funding. The values that guide us are transparency, community accountability, shared power, collectivity and flexibility.

What we will fund

Social movements, campaigns, community organising and advocacy that is led by young people.

What we won’t fund

Research, think tanks, support services, political parties, education, youth development programs.

We are open to funding organisations that engage in research, services, youth development and education but it shouldn’t be the primary focus of the proposal.

How we will make decisions about who gets funded?

This fund is grounded in the idea that better decisions are made about how we fund our movements if those decisions are made by movement leaders, organisers and builders.

As such, we are looking for a range of youth-powered movements or organisations who we will give small grants to nominate someone from their movement or organisation to the grant decision-making committee.

The role of a committee member includes:

  • Attendance of a hui (3 days)
  • Outreach and promotion of the grant program (1 day)
  • Shortlist and finalise decisions about multi-year grant recipients (1 day)
  • Consider and approve one-off rapid response grants (1 day)

We estimate the work to be approximately six days over the course of 2022 including a hui from Friday 18 March to Sunday 20 March (Covid dependent). Travel, accommodation and kai are covered. We will also have skilled facilitators to curate and hold the space. In order to keep everyone safe, it will be a requirement for people at the hui to be double vaccinated. We can arrange video conferencing for committee members who are not able to attend in-person.

The criteria for youth-powered movements and organisations are:

  • Leadership under 35
  • Capacity to engage in the committee
  • Expertise in one (or more) of the kaupapa the fund focuses on

Due to the small size of the progressive movement and the lack of funding for movements, these movements will not be excluded from applying for any of the grants, only asked to step away from any decision that involves them or their organisation.

Who is involved in this project?

This fund was dreamed up by Laura O’Connell Rapira and Max Harris, with the support of Quatro Trust. Max Harris is no longer involved (but is still supportive) and Laura O’Connell Rapira is convening this project.

Where is the money coming from?

Quatro Trust.

How much of the $1m is going to youth movements?

91% is going directly to youth movements and movement leaders with just 2% on administration and 7% on gatherings and hui.

We keep admin costs low by utilising off-the-shelf tech solutions such as Squarespace, Medium, Google Forms and Google Workspace. We take a networked approach to marketing conducting outreach to youth-led organisations and young people.

We have allocated $70,000 for hui over the next five years because we believe strong relationships will be key to the success of this program.

How will we evaluate impact?

We are taking a high-trust approach with grantees by front-loading due diligence with a team of young movement leaders who will be allocating our grants. To enable smooth reporting for collectives that do not have a legal entity, Quatro Trust will act as a fiscal host and utilise The Open Collective who make financial reporting easy and transparent. For youth movements that have their own bookkeeping mechanisms, reporting requirements will include a copy of the annual financial statements which is a legal requirement that doesn’t create additional work.

For multi-year grant recipients, Quatro Trust will facilitate a zui once every six — 12 months where 2 -3 organisations will be asked to share the outcomes of their mahi, their learnings and the challenges they see. This will allow the organisations to build relationships and see collective opportunities for change.

For one-off grants, an end of project report will suffice. We will accept this report in a variety of ways e.g. video, audio, report, oral, phone call, Zoom, presentation. We will ask recipients if this can be made public or at least shared with other grantees to encourage cross-movement knowledge exchange.

How do I express my interest in joining the committee?

Please fill in this form by 5pm on Friday 28 January 2022.

I’m also available to kōrero further if folks want to book a 30min Zoom with me here.