SUN Leaders Program

SUN Leaders Program

We enable leaders to focus on rebuilding and transforming Ukraine, and help projects become sustainable and scale.

SUN Leaders Program supports 35 young leaders and their social projects in Ukraine.

We are fundraising for the leaders' scholarships fund and some administrative costs. One full scholarship for one leader is €3000.

Consider donating to our crowdfunding campaign.

Why is the Program needed?

About the Program

Program Pilot

We are looking for partners!

About us

Why is the Program needed?

  • See the big picture: War in Ukraine has been going on for 10 months. While the immediate response is now mostly covered, we need to step in and focus on longer-term goals and impact that is neglected “because of war;” this includes the work on specific issues resolving which enables democracy in the country.
  • Projects are underfunded. Big international organizations get most of the donations. While small local initiatives do work in the fields and get no support. Often, big funds give out grants to local initiatives, but specify that money can be used only on direct spendings for the project, and CANNOT be used to pay salaries. Leaders have to combine working to make a living with their activism. They can’t fully focus on their initiatives and create as much impact as they could.
  • Leaders need guidance, mentoring and learning opportunities. Some leaders started volunteering without any expertise or knowledge, just because it had to be done. Other activists have been in the field for some time, but had to change their focus due to new realities of war. Many of them burn out due to overworking themselves and being underfunded.

We want to bridge these gaps by supporting leaders and projects that create immediate results, but also have long-term impact for rebuilding and developing Ukraine.

About the Program

SUN Leaders Program is a 6-months Fellowship Program for young leaders of social projects in Ukraine. 

These leaders help their communities to live through the war, and help Ukrainian society as a whole to implement effective long-lasting change.

What does the Program offer?

🙌 We support leaders in growing and scaling their projects: by offering them mentoring, educational resourcesnetwork of expert and fellows.

💶 We allow them to focus, remove some of their financial anxieties: by offering a monthly scholarship of €500. Leaders can spend the scholarship as they want: e.g. cover their basic living expenses, or cover project costs.

What we aim to achieve:

  • 50 young leaders supported, developing their skills of leadership
  • 50 projects became sustainable, scaled and multiplied their impact
  • Community of leaders and experts created

About the Program in detail

Logic Model

Ecosystem resources
Educational materials: online courses, books, articles
Open call and leaders selection
6-months fellowship: - paying monthly scholarships - weekly mentorship support - End of Program Demo day
Community management and online events organization
Fundraising and reporting
Monthly scholarships of €500 allocated to 50 young leaders for 6 months
50 young leaders went through 6-months mentoring program
50 young leaders developed their skills in leadership, management, communication, fundraising under our mentorship; while being financially secure
50 social projects scaled to other cities and/or across the country, and became sustainable
Community of leaders and experts is formed and functioning
Development of local leadership in Ukraine
Leaders growth in confidence, initiative, willingness to act, taking responsibility
In the future, expected 50% of participants become policymakers in a post-war transition and assist reforms in Ukraine
Closing the gap in long-term solutions in a post-war period by developing projects in healthcare, education, equality, entrepreneurship, cities development, EU integration

The Program structure

  • First cycle 5 leaders; second cycle 30 leaders
  • 6 months of funding per leader
  • Why 6 months?

    6 months of focused work should be enough to accelerate a project and take it to the next level: build the necessary team and structure, find partners, fundraise, scale etc. This model has been proven to work within the Leaders Fund since 2019.

  • Monthly mentorship meetings and digital support
  • Access to educational resources
  • Access to the network of fellows, and Ukrainian and international experts
  • Monthly scholarship of UAH 20.000 (€500)
  • Why €500?

    This sum should cover the basic needs of a young leader in Ukraine: rent, food, etc. But motivate the leader to seek for sustainable ways to support his/her project in a long run.

Who are the leaders?

🇺🇦 Ukrainian citizen

🇺🇦 Based in Ukraine, implementing a project in Ukraine

💪 Ready to take responsibility and act

🌟 Are 18-30 years old

Why the age limit?

18 years old for legal reasons: signing a contract with the leader, transferring money.

30 years old for reasons related to the program purpose:

a) the scholarship should be of significant help to the leader;

b) our experience shows that younger people are more open to learning under the age of 30.

📈 Have not more than 5 years experience of volunteer and/or management of social projects

Why not more than 5 years?

We saw the program helpfulness decrease in this case, the leaders are “overqualified” for what we are offering them.

What projects do the leaders work on?

  • Solves an actual social problem in sectors of:
    1. image
    2. Good health and well-being / Healthcare (SDG 3)
    3. Quality education (SDG 4)
    4. Decent work and economic growth / Economy and development of entrepreneurship (SDG 8)
    5. Reduced inequalities (SDG 10)
    6. Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11)
    7. EU Integration of Ukraine
    8. Why these sectors?

      We view projects in these sectors as most impactful for rebuilding and transforming Ukraine mid- and long-term.

  • Is functioning and shows first successful results (not idea stage)
  • Can be scaled in other cities of Ukraine, or nationwide
  • The leader has a legal form of registration of their activity, or is ready to open it in the format of a public/charity organization, or an individual entrepreneur
  • Shows immediate results AND has long-term effect

The process


Selection process

  • Round 1: Brief application form with questions and a video pitch
    • Team reviews for technical criteria
  • Round 2: Full application: presentation + budget
    • Team reviews the overall fit and quality of the application
  • Round 3: An interview
    • Team interviews semifinalists and considers the leadership potential
  • Board voting
  • Leader approved

Program process

  • Mentoring assessment call in the beginning of the program
  • Monthly:
    • Scholarship sent
    • Mentoring call and support
    • Leader sends narrative reporting on the month’s results
    • Program team reports to the donors
    • Demo-day (leaders + team + donors)
    • * repeat for 6 months

  • Leader sends narrative report for the whole Program
  • Program team reports to the donors

Program Pilot

Our partners Leaders Fund have piloted the Program in 2019-2020. Some of previous fellows:

  • Olga Ilyukhina, with the project "Healthy food for kids". SDG target 3.4. Reduce mortality from non-communicable diseases and improve mental health
  • Olena Shulha, with the project "Engineering Week". SDG target 4.3: Equal access to affordable technical, professional and higher education

During the Program, the leaders:

  • Scaled their project nationwide
  • Won grants to fund their activities
  • Hired new team members
  • Launched a social enterprise
  • Partnered with the government and businesses

After the Program, on of the leaders started working for WHO in Ukraine, another got shortlisted in BBC book contest. 


We are looking for partners!

We are looking for partners to sponsor our Program. You can support one leader (for 500 EUR on a monthly basis), support several leaders within one sector of projects (starting at 5000 EUR with a one-time donation), or support the Program in general (let’s talk!).

If you are interested in joining us, please email at [email protected].

Or donate to our crowdfunding campaign:

Donate to the Program


We want to help you [fundraise]. Let’s partner?

Sure! Please send an overview of your organization (or personal portfolio) so that we inform relevant people before making an intro call.

Here are some ways you can help us with the SUN LP:

  • Information campaign: on social media and in media;
  • Operations: become a mentor ();
  • Partnerships & Fundraising: make an intro with a potential sponsor or partner, a business, foundation or government official. We would love to hear their feedback and questions!
  • Advising: anything else you’d like to share on leadership for Ukraine’s youth?

Reach out to us at [email protected].

How do I join SUN LP as a participant?

Currently, the Program is raising funding for the candidates we have pre-selected right before the war to help them carry on with their initiatives. Later, we will have an additional open call this summer:

  • Open to Ukrainians who currently reside in Ukraine
  • With active social projects that have some traction
  • These leaders must be able to participate in a 6-months online program, that includes regular mentorship and frequent reporting, including public appearance on our socials
How to tax-deduct your donation to SUN Leaders Program?

Case by case scenario, really. US residents and residents of some European countries indeed can receive their tax deduction. Reach out to us at [email protected].

Who are you going to support for the SUN Leaders Program? Can I see these people and projects?

Sure! Please see our presentation for sponsors and related slides:

How does your direct work impact Ukraine?

Please see our annual report for the SUN portal here.

  • Also, you can review our detailed presentation on the SUN Leaders Program to learn about methodology and estimated impact.
  • In a nutshell, by funding SUN LP you can sponsor a total impact on 1 million lives within 6 sectors: healthcare, education, equality, entrepreneurship, urban development, and EU integration.

About us

  • SupportUkraineNow
  • image

    SupportUkraineNOW is a Global Shaper-led volunteer organization focused on tailoring and curating effective solutions to the Ukrainian crisis. Now an ecosystem with 10+ initiatives in the spheres of economy, activism and humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine.

    Our website describes different ways foreigners can help Ukraine, has generated more than €1,000,000 donations to Ukrainian funds. Through our campaign on bulletproof vests, we collected €55,000 donations, bought and brought to Ukrainian civil defenders and volunteers on the fronts 187 vests. Through our medical aid initiative, we allocated more than €100,000 worth of medicine to Ukrainian hospitals.

    SupportUkraineNow is founded by Global Shapers Hubs in Ukraine. It is a part of Global Shapers Community, initiated by the World Economic Forum.

  • Leaders Fund, by Future Development Agency
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    Future Development Agency is a project office for social change, established in 2015 to implement social innovations, civic tech, and modern methods of work in the social field. We implement our own projects and work as a back-office for the development of national institutions, local governments, civil society organizations, social businesses and initiatives that have a potential for significant social impact in Ukraine.

    With Leaders Fund, we offer financial support and mentorship to leaders of change and scale their social projects. The Leaders Fund finalists received a scholarship of 10,000 UAH for 6 months. We started to work in 2019 and have invested 180,000 UAH in social changes since then. Sponsors (impact investors) replenish the fund.

Why us?

  • We are Ukrainians, abroad and inside the country. We understand what’s happening, what is covered, and what help is needed. We have the network and capacity to share this opportunity and select the best leaders for support.
  • We are people with international background, therefore have access to the international community, and can help bring the resources to Ukraine. We are super-connectors who build bridges.
  • We have expertise in: project and program management, equational programs creation, international relations, business development, funds management, reporting, working with big international organizations (UN, OSCE, etc), public communication, and more.
  • We are leaders, and know how to help young leaders grow, based on our experience, on our vision for the future of Ukraine.