Columbus Youth Climate Action Fund

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Are you passionate about the environment? Do you want to see real change in your city? The City of Columbus is offering a new opportunity for youth-led organizations to make a meaningful impact on our communities and play a part in local government efforts to combat climate change.

With 84 percent of youth around the world reporting that they are worried climate change threatens people and the planet, Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the Youth Climate Action Fund to help empower the next generation of climate leaders. As a Bloomberg Sustainable City, Columbus has received a total of $50,000to distribute as microgrants to youth-led organizations seeking to address climate change and its impacts on our community!


Empower a new generation of climate leaders

Award Size:

Selected applicants will receive microgrants of $1,000 - $5,000 to support youth-led climate action projects


Organizations and groups led by youth (ages 15 – 24) in the Columbus area

Projects that are new and that support the Columbus Climate Action Plan

How to Apply:

Download the application below and submit by email to by August 2, 2024!

Columbus YCAF Application(PDF, 436KB)

Want additional help?

We will be hosting virtual office hours on July 23 from 3:30 - 4:30. Join us to ask questions about potential projects, the application process, or any other questions you have about the program!

Register here

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Program Details


Microgrants of $1,000 - $5,000 are available to youth-led organizations to implement new projects related to one of the following program areas in our Columbus Climate Action Plan:

  • Empowering the community the “Columbus Way”: Builds or supports community collaboration, education, awareness, leadership related to climate action
  • Sustainable Neighborhoods and Environment: Supports climate resilient neighborhoods or a healthy environment
  • Buildings and Energy: Promotes renewable energy or energy efficiency in residential, commercial or community buildings
  • Transportation: Supports mode shift to bikes, scooters and public transportation or promotes zero-emission vehicles
  • Waste Reduction: Reduces waste generated or sent to the landfill

Note that projects can be focused on climate mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions), climate adaptation (adjusting to or reducing the impacts of climate change), or climate engagement (getting people educated or involved).

Example Projects

  • Climate education programs
  • Climate surveys and research
  • Public art and awareness campaigns
  • Climate data monitoring
  • Community gardens, tree plantings, and urban farming
  • Recycling and waste reduction programs

Be creative! We're looking for youth leaders with new ideas for the future!

Eligibility & Program Requirements

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants are organizations led by young people between the ages of 15 and 24 that either:

  • Are incorporated as a non-profit organization, with a bank account to receive funds


  • Have an incorporated non-profit fiscal sponsor, with a bank account to receive funds

If you are in need of a fiscal sponsor, please go ahead and submit an application and we will attempt to find a match.

Program Requirements
  • Projects must be new.
  • Youth (ages 15-24) must be involved in project planning, proposal writing, and project execution. However, your project/program itself can impact youth and adult residents of all ages.
  • A complete application must be submitted by August 2, 2024. Projects must be complete and all funds spent by December 31, 2024.
  • Applicants can submit more than one project proposal.

Eligible costs

Materials, supplies and services to implement the project; youth participation costs (e.g. bus fare, food); adult project sponsorship costs

Ineligible activities

Projects already ongoing; services covered by existing city initiatives; speaker honorariums; partisan political organizations, candidates, fundraisers, or projects; legislative advocacy or lobbying activities; projects that primarily serve religious organizations; indirect costs like rent or utilities.

Unsure if your program idea fits the requirements? Email for guidance!

Scoring Criteria

Scoring Criteria

Projects that support the priority criteria below will be the strongest competitors. Keep these criteria in mind as you develop your project and your application.

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Final Report Requirements

After your project is completed, a report is expected to be sent back to the City of Columbus. This report should include:

  • A description of project activities and how funds were spent
  • At least one output and one outcome
    • Example output: Numbers of trees planted
    • Example outcome: Neighborhood cooling from increased tree shade
  • Documentation of expenditures

Download a PDF copy of the guidance here(PDF, 3MB)   


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Contact Information

Melanie Ford
Grants Coordinator