Youth-led Community Change Program


The 2016 Youth-led Community Change Program call for applications

closed on March 18, 2016. 

Through the Youth-led Community Change Program, Laidlaw provides support to youth-led groups and organizations to identify and address issues affecting their communities in meaningful new ways. The program’s objective is to motivate and encourage young people to brainstorm community issues that are relevant and immediate to their lives and take action and bring attention to those issues. Applicants may request a minimum of $5000 and to a maximum of $25,000 in funding.

Eligibility Criteria

Your project:

  • Must be youth-led
  • Must take action on and bring attention to community and social issues
  • Must take place in Ontario

We are interested in supporting projects that:

  • Demonstrate creative, relevant and accessible ways of reaching young people who are not being engaged effectively by traditional educational, social and community services
  • Bring attention to social justice and community priorities of young people
  • Work towards having young people’s perspectives and priorities heard by decision makers (eg. Politicians, School Boards, Community Housing, Service Providers, Parents)

What do we mean when we say we welcome unincorporated groups?

  • It is widely understood that in order to receive funding a group must be a registered charity in Canada, however the Laidlaw Foundation does not require a group to have registered charity. Instead a group may sign an “agency agreement” where funding can be incrementally distributed to the individual responsible for the project. This is just one of the ways we are working to change the not-for-profit sector to be more inclusive to youth-led groups in Ontario

Application Deadlines

Call for Applications                               Due by March 18th at 5pm

Assessment and Short List                     By April 18th

Successful applications announced     By the week of May 9th

Payments made                                      By June 2016

Grant Management Portal

Application Assessment

All applications are considered in a two stage process: shortlisting and review by the Youth-led Community Change Grant Review Committee.

  • Applications are assessed initially for eligibility and completeness, including required documents. Only completed applications are accepted.
  • The Review Committee reviews ALL shortlisted applications in an objective, fair and unbiased fashion. The Committee is consisted of young people who have experiences running youth-led projects and mentors/allies who have experiences supporting youth-led projects, as well as the Laidlaw Granting Committee Members. In order to ensure impartiality in the decision making process, committee members are not eligible to apply for YLCC funding.
  • Successful applicants will be announced by the week of May 2nd.


Youth refers to young people between 15 and 29 years of age.

Youth-led group or organization has a majority of individuals aged 29 or under at the governance or decision-making level; and has youth, 15 to 29, managing the project from planning to implementation and evaluation.

How do you define youth-led community organizing?

  • We define youth-led organizing as a process wherein young people and their allies draw their mandate from other youth, communities and their own lived experiences. From this knowledge and experience, groups conceive, plan, develop and implement interventions, strategies and initiatives that work to improve and transform communities, institutions, and social systems. The youth may have adult allies who act as mentors to their initiatives and who believe in the youth’s ability to develop, manage and evaluate their own projects.

Would we be able to apply for the YLCC grant again even if we were funded before? 

  • Yes you would.

Is it possible to apply to two different programs at the same time? 

  • Yes. For instance, you can submit an application for the capacity building, training and skills development grant and for the YLCC grant at the same time.

We are a youth-led group and we’d like to develop a project in partnership with an organization that is not youth-led. Are we still eligible for funding?

  • Yes, however you must be able to show that you came up with the idea and that you subsequently found an administrative partner who shares your values and will let you retain control of the project rather than manage it for you. Think of the partner acting as a mentor rather than a boss.

We are a registered Canadian charity offering programs for youth. Are we eligible for funding?

  • Yes, if you are able to show that a group of young people approached you with their own idea that you found interesting and that you are willing to act as a mentor rather than a project lead for the initiative they are proposing.

Do you fund salary and administration costs?

  • Yes, funds can be used to pay salaries, honoraria and administration costs, as well as for services and supplies needed for the project, i.e. carrying out workshops.

What are the key elements of a successful proposal?

  • The proposal is in keeping with the Foundation’s priorities.
  • The project is addressing a systemic issue., i.e. systemic marginalization and social exclusion including racism, heterosexism, and transphobia.
  • The initiative contributes to expanding knowledge in the youth sector.
  • The project description is clear and concise.
  • Goals are clearly outlined.
  • The project seems doable; there is evidence that the group or organization has the capacity to implement the project.
  • There is evidence of community participation, collaboration and partnerships.
  • The budget is clear and reasonable.
  • Risks are clearly identified.


Please review the application questions before you get in touch with the foundation staff.

We’ll be hosting information sessions shortly.

If you have any questions, you can contact Laidlaw Program Manager, Betul Keles,