by Sarah Audelo, Executive Director
Across the country, there’s an explosion of young folks trying to figure out how to engage their communities. Our freed-up staff capacity will allow us to meet this moment and the clear wave of interest and enthusiasm for civic engagement. A new partnership model, in addition to our traditional Affiliate structure, gives us the flexibility we need in this moment to work with a variety of kinds of folks — all-volunteer operations working in communities or on-campus, youth projects of intergenerational organizations, or new efforts that aim to become ongoing youth-focused organizations.
While we expect to maintain flexibility, the basic outlines of the partnership model are clear: we provide basic technical assistance and capacity building, support fundraising, connect these organizations into larger networks of organizing and peer support around the country, and serve as a champion and validator for their work.
We have long been committed to steady, sustainable growth. For several years, we’ve been asked by funders and partners when we would be able to support more organizations. This moment called for a rethinking of our approach and a willingness to work with more efforts, even ones that are potentially short-lived.
Given the explosion of interest on the ground, we concluded that we could either play it safe, stand back, waiting and watching to see which groups succeed and which fail. Or we could seize this moment, support these new efforts, push our own model, and potentially drive a major wave of success.
Interested in joining the network or suggesting we get in-touch with some folks you know? Check out our Local Organizing page for details.