You might have noticed younger-than-usual grantmakers popping up periodically in GrantCraft's newsletters the last two years. Well, now there's a gathering place for youth grantmakers, and adults who support them, to raise their voices and showcase impact. YouthGiving.org is our new Foundation Center hub with case studies, funding data, a program directory, expert perspectives, and more…and, boy, was this a fun and energizing labor of love!!!
Three years ago, I keynoted a youth grantmaking conference in Disneyland for an audience aged 8-88. I didn't know what precisely I was getting into, but after three days of watching young people debate impact, conduct interviews with grant applicants, and assess proposals, I was hooked. Were these empowered young people philanthropy anomalies, or did they represent something bigger? Were there more of them, doing exactly what adult grantmakers do? Was it token involvement or true participatory grantmaking?
Since then, we've been digging in to answer these questions, and have news for you: youth grantmaking is a philanthropic force. With more than 800 active programs, it is clear that this is a movement we cannot ignore and that is steadily becoming a part of the fabric of philanthropy. Since 2001, more than $14M in grants have been made by youth grantmakers in communities all around the world. Frankly, we estimate the number to be even higher—programs are continuing to share their data with us every day. Starting with Foundation Center's research published in 2014 and culminating in YouthGiving.org, we're proud to be sharing a broader set of practical wisdom for funders. Please dig into the site and also the content below, and think about how you can activate or join this movement wherever you are. We're glad we did!
This letter originally appeared in yesterday's GrantCraft newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter and special alerts, register for free.