Civic Spring: National

The Civic Spring Fellowship National program is an opportunity for youth-driven organizations across the country to lead a community project this summer. By focusing on community projects as Civic Spring Fellows, young people are building skills to continue engaging and driving meaningful change for the long term. 

Projects may request up to $25,000 for youth-driven projects addressing a local need related to environmental justice, mental health, 2022 elections, or COVID-19. All projects must be completed – or a major milestone must be completed – by August 19, 2022. 

“Having the opportunity to build relationships and learn from organizations across the country was incredibly encouraging for our organization.”

-2020 Civic Spring Fellow

First-Round Applications Closed.

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Eligibility

Applications for the National Program are open to youth-driven and/or youth-focused organizations or organizational partnerships. The primary applicant must be part of a 501(c)3 organization.  

Applicants must be one of the following:

  • A youth-driven organization 
  • An organization in direct partnership with a youth-driven organization  
  • A community-based organization working with young people to complete the CSF project proposal that has clear plans to prioritize youth in project management and leadership  
  • A national organization applying in partnership with a local youth-driven organization or group that will lead the project in their community  
  • A partnership of local organizations that can facilitate a youth-driven project  
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Proposals can request up to $25,000.   

The Civic Spring Fellowship: National program will conclude on August 19, 2022. All Civic Spring Fellowship (CSF) projects – or a major milestone of the project – must be completed on or before the end date. Fellows will submit a final report the week following program completion.   

Select projects (e.g., those focused on the 2022 elections) may propose a later completion and final report date. The extension must be proposed in the application. No additional funding will be available. In the case of an extension, final reports must submitted no later than December 15, 2022.  

Finalists will be notified May 6 and will be asked to return supplemental materials no later than May 13.

If you experience any technical difficulties while filling out your application, please email Tech-Help@citizensandscholars.org for assistance.

environmental justice

mental health

2022 elections

covid-19

DETAILED EXPECTATIONS & SCHEDULE

Expectations

Civic Spring Fellowship National applicants will identify 8-12 young people (and 2-3 adult practitioners if applicable) to serve as CSF National Fellows. Youth Fellows who fully participates in the 10-week fellowship – including meeting expectations outlined below – will receive a certificate of completion and will be admitted to the Civic Spring National Network including CSF fellows as well as civic leaders, practitioners, and others from around the country leading and working in civic spaces. 

Fellow organizations are expected to:

  • Center young people as leaders in the project concept, proposal, and implementation
  • Compensate youth fellows for their time

Fellows are expected to:

  • Help with and/or complete the project proposal
  • Attend the 2022 Civic Spring Fellowship Launch (week of June 6) 
  • Attend at least 8 of 10 weekly 75-min sessions (virtual) 
  • Keep a time log of hours and progress  
  • Help with and/or complete final report 
    • Progress report/project assessment (1 per Fellow) 
    • Funding report 
    • 1–2-minute video
  • Complete periodic surveys with respect to the project (quarterly for years 1-2, and annually for years 3-5)   

Fellows and fellow organizations can expect the following:

  • Better understanding of how to identify and address community needs
  • Increased civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions 
  • Membership in a growing national network of young people working in civic spaces 
  • Strategies for engaging people with different opinions, beliefs, lived experiences, etc.   
  • Connections to changemakers, leaders, community members, professionals, and organizations in your community and beyond   

time commitment

SCHEDULE

April 4-29:  Application open (due by 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday, April 29) 

May 2 – 6: First round, selection committee process  

May 6: Finalists notified 

May 9 – 17: Supplemental materials submitted  

May 18 – 26: Second round, intergenerational selection committee process 

May 27: Fellows notified 

May 30 – June 3: Contracts, release forms & other materials (due by 11:59 pm PST on Friday, June 3) (please hold 1 hour to complete the final application)

Week of June 6: 2022 Civic Spring: National Launch 

Week of June 13 – August 15: Project implementation & weekly meetings

Week of Aug 15: Final Community of Practice

Sept 2: Final report due (extensions considered)

Community of Practice

The Civic Spring Project Community of Practice is a youth co-facilitated regular meeting series for young people and adult allies. Through this platform, participants will learn and practice civic skills, participate in peer-to-peer problem-solving, and come together in a safe place to ask questions and solve challenges together. It will be an opportunity to build networks and a support system for projects and people while applying the civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions developed during the course of the project.

YAPP

The Youth Adult Partnership Program (YAPP) is an opportunity for adults from different companies/corporations to be in community with our Fellows—in order to learn together and share skills, lived experiences and expertise. It will be a facilitated co-learning opportunity (meaning that no one is expected to come into the project with all the answers).

Eligibility Requirements

  • Your proposal addresses one or more of the 2022 CSF priority areas: environmental justice, community health & wellness (mental health), the 2022 elections, or the impact of COVID-19
  • Your proposal identifies a problem in your community and includes a preliminary plan of action and basic set of desired outcomes. Projects can be stand alone or a smaller initiative within a bigger venture.
  • You are one of the following: 
    • A youth-driven organization
    • An organization in direct partnership with a youth-driven organization
    • A community-based organization working with young people to complete the CSF project proposal that has clear plans to prioritize youth in project management and leadership
    • A national organization applying in partnership with a youth-driven local organization or group that will lead the project in their community 
    • A partnership of local organizations that can facilitate a youth-driven project
  • You have identified 8-12 young people who will serve as 2022 CSF Fellows and are able to meet the requirements of participation. [Link to above]
  • You have a plan to engage diverse perspectives, including those with whom you disagree
  • You and/or your partner(s) has/have experience working with the communities you intend to serve (i.e., students, seniors, individuals experiencing homelessness, etc.)
  • Your project indicates a clear end date or a key milestone to be completed on or before August 19, 2022
  • You are a registered non-profit OR you have a partner that is a 501(c)3  
  • Your organization or partner has an annual budget of $200,000 or more per year OR has a fiscal sponsor with an annual budget of $1 million or above.
  • The organization receiving the funding (the 501(c)3 or fiscal sponsor) has experience managing and reporting on small- to mid-sized ($25,000 – $100,000) grants
  • You are committed to following local public-health requirements

finalist materials

Finalists for Civic Spring: National must submit the following materials by May 13.

Media Release Forms

  • Please upload a completed and signed media release form for each team member engaged in program design and/or implementation who is not on your organization’s payroll.
  • If the team member is under the age of 18, please ensure the release form includes a parent or legal guardian’s signature.
  • If you have multiple team members not on your payroll, you need to provide a media release form for each member.
  • Media release forms can be accessed at: Media Release Forms.

 

Team Photo Upload

  • Provide a high-resolution photo of the lead contact(s) or a group photo.  Please indicate each individual, by first and last name, pictured in order from left to right.

 

Project Video Link

Provide a 1-2 minute video with an individual or a small group (2-3 people) covering the following topics: 

  • ​Name of project
  • Location (town/city, and state)
  • Your elevator pitch!  Your pitch should include (in any order) but not be limited to:
    1. Your bold idea/vision for the project
    2. Why your project is important
    3. How it will make a difference
    4. What is your dream or hope for the future of our democracy?

 

Please take no more than two hours to develop your script, record the piece, and upload it to Vimeo or YouTube.  THE VIDEO DOES NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT!  It’s just another way for us to catch a glimpse of your vision.  Don’t forget… your video must be set to “Public” so that we can gain access.

Financial Uploads

  • Provide a copy of your organization’s 501(c)3 status document.
  • Provide a copy of the 2020/2021 annual report for the lead organization or fiscal sponsor.
  • Provide a completed W-9 Form (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification). You can access a fillable PDF of the form at:  W-9 Form.
  • Provide a copy of your most recently completed 990 Form (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax), as filed with the IRS.  If you filed a 990-N Form or 990-EZ Form rather than a 990, that would also be acceptable.
  • Provide a completed Direct Deposit form. You can access a fillable PDF of the form at:  Direct Deposit Form.

RUBRIC & COMMITTEE STRUCTURE 

We have included the selection rubric (chart) that will provide guidance for the selection committees during the review process. It will not be the only tool that helps the committee decide on grantees; additional aspects of the application will also play a role, including but not limited to location (i.e., urban, suburban, or rural) as well as diverse beliefs, perspectives, and lived experiences. We’ve recruited an intergenerational selection committee that represents a diversity of professions, geographies, racial/ethnic identities, political ideologies, and lived experiences.  

Preference will be given to projects that are open to the ideas and opinions of others and who seek to engage others across identities, perspectives, and experiences.