Youth Community Philanthropy

Youth and young adults are engaging with each other and their communities in many different and new ways that affect their philanthropic activities. Both formal and informal structures to support youth and young adult philanthropy are now emerging, building on the long tradition of youth philanthropy in the community foundation field. Many community philanthropic organizations are working with young people to help them become more engaged with their communities, but are not aware of the innovative work going on in other countries. Identifying the most promising practices can give insight to community foundations and community philanthropic organizations as they look to expand their work with young people.

How is the Council involved?

The Council of Michigan Foundations and the Council on Foundations, with the support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, hosted the Global Youth Community Philanthropy Summit on June 16-17, 2014, the first-ever convening of this scope and purpose. The event brought over 50 youth community philanthropy leaders, organizers, and participants from 14 countries to Chicago for an opportunity to network, share best practices, and discuss what’s next for the field of youth community philanthropy. The countries represented were Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Mexico, N. Ireland, Romania, Russia, S. Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.

A number of themes emerged as participants shared their global perspectives, encountered other models, and tried to envision what would move the needle to grow an international youth community philanthropy movement. A recently published report documents these major themes, including inspiring approaches, trending topics, and the networks needed to amplify youth community philanthropy in the future.

In 2016, the Council explored various ways to put what was learned at the summit into action.