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Showing posts tagged with youth leadership

  • Memo to Foundation CEOs: Get a Youth Council

    By Robert K. Ross

    Seven years ago, we launched a President's Youth Council (PYC) at the California Endowment, and it seems like a good time to tell you that the young people who've served on the council over those seven years have significantly influenced our programming as a private foundation, been a source of reality-checking and ground-truthing on how our work "shows up" at the community level, and have substantially increased my own "woke-ness" as a foundation executive.

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    October 9, 2019

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  • Why Should Young People Fund Environmental Causes?

    By Robert Walton

    The environmental movement has been steadily gaining ground as people realize how important it is to take action in the face of ever-growing environmental concerns. Organizations across the country have tried to address problems in different ways, from looking into the science behind climate change, to starting grassroots campaigns that shift our behavior towards the earth. While there are countless approaches to helping our environment, rather than choosing one strategy over another, we need a collective effort that includes many tactics.

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    October 8, 2018

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  • Youth Philanthropy, Trust Building, and Sharing Power

    By Sheryl Seller

    Despite the growing number of youth philanthropy programs in the United States, a 2002 survey found that “only 48 percent of adults believe it is important to seek young people’s opinions when making decisions that affect them.” As Katie Richards-Schuster, a professor at University of Michigan stated in 2012, “In general, American society, through its policies and practices, tends to focus on the construction of youth as vulnerable and at risk at best, and as problems at worst.” However, we know that through youth philanthropy programs where young people are given decision-making power as well as provided with mentorship, communities thrive.

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    August 16, 2018

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  • How Do You Create a Youth-Led Grantmaking Program to Support Your Community?

    By Brooklyn Youth Fellows

    A group of young people sit around a table, each with their own unique lived experiences--from incarceration to homelessness to living undocumented--and each filled with immense passion to change the world, block by block, person by person. At this table, the idea for the Brooklyn Youth Voice Awards was born. The Brooklyn Youth Voice Awards is a youth-led grantmaking program created in 2016 by young people and sponsored by Brooklyn Community Foundation. The Brooklyn Youth Voice Awards sees young people as central players in supporting youth-centered projects.

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    December 19, 2016

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  • Why Should I Connect With Others When I’m So Busy?

    By Sarah Saltzman & Kylie Semel

    Being busy isn’t a reason to avoid connecting with other youth philanthropists—it’s a reason to do it.  We’re Kylie and Sarah, and we’re both members of the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation Junior Board and the Youth Philanthropy Connect (YPC) Leadership Team.  We’ve been getting to know lots of other youth philanthropists across the U.S. for over three years through Youth Philanthropy Connect conferences and the YPC Leadership Team, where we have met lots of other youth that are weaving the web that is our network. Here are the top 5 benefits we have found from staying connected to other youth philanthropists.

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    August 26, 2016

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  • How Do I Start a Youth Grantmaking Program to Ensure Youth Voice? What Are the Benefits of Doing so as a Funder?

    By Kelly Davenport Nowlin

    In 2000, my family’s foundation (Surdna) established the Andrus Family Philanthropy Program to engage future generations in our family in formalized philanthropy. In addition, we created two youth programs, targeting 13-17 and 18-24 year olds, respectively (learn more here!). For years, these youth programs were designed and run by adults with expertise in the field, helping young people define what they cared about and find their identity in philanthropy. I have come across similar youth initiatives where adults get together to develop all aspects of the program, then present it to the young people to experience and implement. If the past sixteen years has taught me anything about youth philanthropy it is this: don’t take “youth” out of the development and creation of a youth philanthropy program.

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    July 27, 2016

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  • What Are the SDGs and How Do They Relate to the Youth Giving Movement?

    By Arif Ekram

    United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals—better known as the SDGs—are a set of 17 universal goals  for global economic development, prosperity, human dignity, peace, justice, and partnerships. They have been agreed upon by virtually every nation on earth and will remain in effect until 2030. The SDG framework has managed to find common ground between the countless dissimilar and often opposing interests of various nations  and has aligned all of these countries under the same agenda to improve the quality of life for people around the globe. It took a great number of very skilled development professionals more than three years, but they have succeeded in putting together a universal framework – one that fits the U.S. as much as it fits Somalia.

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    July 5, 2016

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  • What Do I Need to Know About Presenting to a Board? What Skills Can I Learn?

    By Katherine Scott

    As a young person, I advocated for every cause I cared about. I’d post articles on the wall of our school cafeteria about almost every issue (I was passionate about them all) and fundraise (and eventually recruit an entire team) for our local AIDS walk. I even was a very early volunteer in creating a nonprofit named MotherHouse. Through my work with that nonprofit, I became engaged in youth philanthropy. I applied for a project grant from my local community foundation’s youth philanthropy committee on behalf of my school volunteer club (leveraging lots of volunteers and great donations too!). With lots of great donations and helpful volunteers, we were able to use the grant to redo an entire room at MotherHouse. Then, I actually joined my local community foundation, Community Foundation of Northern Illinois’s (CFNIL) In Youth We Trust Youth Advisory Council, because I had seen the deep impact that was possible through youth philanthropy.

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    June 15, 2016

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  • What Should I Know About Doing a Community Needs Assessment?

    By Danielle LaJoie

    As a former member of the Battle Creek Community Foundation’s Youth Alliance Committee (YAC) and also the Michigan Community Foundations Youth Project, I’ve seen community needs assessments from both the view of a participant in the assessment and also as the creator of the assessment. A community needs assessment is a tool through which your program can gather information from those in your community, especially young people, about what needs they have and what is most important to them. The needs assessment is unique to each program and community, but ultimately it can be used to ensure the effectiveness of your giving.

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    April 22, 2016

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  • What Do Adults Need to Do to Really Let Youth Lead?

    By Maddie Adkins

    As the president of my high school environmental club and the youth leader of The Promise Project, I’ve learned a few things about how to empower youth to become leaders. (1) Facilitate, don’t delegate. How do you keep youth motivated? The answer is simple - true leadership is all about “facilitating”, not “delegating”. You may think that assigning tasks is the same thing as giving youth a leadership role, but until you actually give youth a real piece of the project, something that they can take ownership of and be creative with, they will always be less motivated to work on the project. Instead of asking them to design you a logo, let them be a part of creating the project behind that logo. You have to give them a reason to care about the project, and the best way to do that is to give them the space to make it their own project.

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    March 21, 2016