Field Building creates a world of abundant resources our communities deserve.

Through our Field Building strategy, YO! Cali weaves together youth organizing groups and aligned funders in California to connect and strengthen regional relationships, find opportunities for collaboration and cross-pollination, and build new structures of support.

Field building is deeply rooted in trust and relationships that allow us to share resources and wisdom across organizations, programs, and regions. Through this practice we sharpen our transformative youth organizing framework, develop our regional vision, strategy, and actions to build power, and increase funder interest and long-term investment in youth organizing as a critical strategy for community transformation.


Core Programs & Activities

• Field Leadership Team - elevating leadership pathways for youth leaders in philanthropy and participatory grantmaking 

• California Youth Organizing Funders Collaborative - growing resources, capacity, infrastructure, and multi-year funding for the youth organizing ecosystem 

• Youth Power Fund (Northern CA) - shared power with youth leaders through participatory grant-making and trust-based philanthropy via a pooled fund for multi-year general operating support and capacity building.

• Research and Shared Learning - collaborations with researchers and the field to uplift lessons, best practices, and wisdom from young people and youth organizing groups.

Field Leadership Team


Our commitment to build the capacity of young people and to practice transformative youth organizing extends to our work to reimagine our relationships with philanthropy and funding as a youth organizing movement. The Field Leadership Team consists of eight transition-aged youth leaders from youth organizing groups in Northern California who inform the Youth Power Fund’s programmatic strategies, uplift the needs of the field, and shape our grantmaking priorities and practices. In addition, Field Leaders participate in a mentorship relationship with funders and take on consultant opportunities to transform the field of philanthropy from one based in competition and scarcity to one rooted in trust and mutuality.

California Youth Organizing Funders Collaborative

The purpose of the California Youth Organizing Funders Collaborative is to increase resources, capacity, infrastructure, and multi-year funding for the California Youth Organizing ecosystem in order to win transformative campaigns and co-govern implementation of policies and practices by:

  • Creating shared learning spaces with funders and youth organizing leaders
  • Leveraging and influencing public and private funding streams and resources
  • Supporting the development of a statewide capacity-building hub for Youth Organizing

With the support of The California Endowment, in 2022 a core working group of funders met to design and launch this project including The California Endowment, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Weingart Foundation, Stuart Foundation, Sierra Health Fund, and Native Americans in Philanthropy.


Youth Power Fund (Northern CA)


In collaboration with a core group of aligned youth organizing funders, YO! Cali launched the Youth Power Fund in 2019. The fund provides opportunities for foundations and individual donors to collectively resource and support a powerful youth organizing ecosystem in Northern California through a pooled fund and capacity building. The fund aims to center the wisdom and expertise of young people through shared design, participatory grantmaking, and a field leadership structure. To advance a regional ecosystem of youth leaders, organizers, and funders, the fund coordinates with other regional collaboratives in California, and educates and organizes funders to prioritize youth organizing and direct a larger share of resources to support the growth of this ecosystem.

The core team includes: YO! Cali, Northern California Grantmakers, East Bay Community Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, S.H. Cowell Foundation, Sobrato Family Foundation, The California Endowment, Zellerbach Family Foundation



Young People’s Agenda
Young People's Agenda - Full Document (Google Doc)

Equitable Youth Compensation in California Youth Organizing
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)

Bay Area Organizing: Opportunities and Needs from the Field
TSFF YO Report (PDF)