Apply for a $500 Change Machine project

The Change Machine for Youth

How would you use up to $500 to make a positive change in your community?

The Change Machine provides $500 grants to support, celebrate, and showcase unique youth-led initiatives with the power to incite positive change. Change Machine projects are innovative, non-traditional ideas that focus on current issues and challenges faced by youth, and inspire a diverse group of participants to be more active, involved, and civically-engaged.

Download a .pdf overview of The Change Machine with application instructions and questions>>

Who Can Apply?

Young people (ages 18 and younger) from Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities of Southwestern Pennsylvania are eligible to apply for support.

Deadlines and How to Apply

Applications for Change Machine grants are due at 5:00pm on Friday, September 15, 2017. Decisions are typically announced 5-6 weeks after the deadline.

Application Questions

Project Description

Tell us about your idea for a project that inspires change in your neighborhood, community, or school. What do you hope to see change as a result of your project?

How? The Plan

Describe how you will make your project happen, including examples of specific activities and events. What might be challenging or difficult about your project? How do you plan to deal with these challenges?

Who? The People

Who will benefit from your project? How will they participate? Who are the other team members and what will they do?

What? The Promotion

How will you let people know about your project? Do you have plans for promoting, marketing, or advertising?

When? The Timeline

When will your project start, how often will activities take place, and when will it finish?


How will you use $500 for your project?

Write Your Own Headline

Upon successfully completing your project, what will the headline be when the newspaper writes about it?

Change Machine Funding Guidelines

Sprout’s Change Machine is intended to support new small projects designed and led by youth and their peers. Change Machine funding may not be used for benefit events or projects planned primarily for fundraising, activities with a primary purpose that is religious or political in nature, or for reimbursement of expenses incurred prior to the decision announcement.

Have Questions or Need Help?

Members of the Change Machine Advisory Committee are available to answer questions and provide additional support for your application. Email your questions to apply (at) or call (412) 325-0646 and Sprout will connect you with a mentor.

About The Sprout Fund

The Sprout Fund supports innovative ideas that are catalyzing change in Pittsburgh—making our community a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Sprout provides critical financial support for small-scale and first-time projects and programs in the early stages of development when just a small amount of investment has the potential to yield big results in the community.