Scanning the Landscape of Youth Philanthropy: Observations and Recommendations for Strengthening a Growing Field

by Amanda Dillon; Jen Bokoff

Nov 13, 2014

This report shares reflections on an in-depth examination of the story and needs of youth grantmaking (young people making monetary contributions to organizations through established institutions or governing bodies). The report finds that while more than 200 foundations worldwide offer youth grantmaking programs and more than 100 related resources exist, that information is not broadly available. Recommendations include providing wider access to youth philanthropy programs, centralizing resources, and increasing in-person gatherings. This scan was conducted in partnership with Youth Philanthropy Connect, a program of the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation.

  • Geography and demographics can be barriers to participating in philanthropy. Youth from affluent areas or who reside near foundations are most able to take advantage of youth giving programs. However, the youth around the world who lack access to a youth grantmaking program should still be able to unleash their philanthropic potential.
  • There are many programs and resources for youth grantmaking worldwide.
  • Discover gaps in access to philanthropy programs, and do direct outreach to potential partners in areas around the globe,
  • Foundations are financially supporting youth philanthropy, though the full extent is unclear.
  • Review current admission guidelines for specific philanthropy programs and determine if and how they could be broadened.
  • Encourage schools to support youth in accessing and participating in any local programs that exist.
  • Create more resources for youth to start, recruit members to, fundraise and budget for, manage, communicate about and conduct outreach for, and evaluate youth philanthropy programs.
  • Develop a framework that defines youth philanthropy, centralize resources, and improve knowledge about youth grant making.
  • Continue and increase in-person convenings
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