Youth Are Creating Change in Philanthropy

With the holidays in full swing, and Giving Tuesday follow-ups and year-end appeals piling up, it’s clear that the giving season is upon us. Yet, as a mom, I can’t help but worry that kids get a very different message and start to think of it instead as “getting season.” From suggesting gift ideas to parents, extended family, Santa, as well as Día de los Tres Reyes Magos in our family, the giving can sometimes get lost in all the excitement about getting.

While both my kids are socially conscious—they’ve been involved with some organized giving efforts with homeless services and animal welfare organizations—I’m always looking for ways to make sure giving is on their minds. This reminded me of Candid’s YouthGiving.org, a site that highlights the growing movement in philanthropy designed to nurture our next generation of philanthropists.

The platform includes helpful information for youth, parents, and practitioners alike. Parents like me who are looking for ways to engage their kids in giving will find the ability to explore ongoing youth programs most interesting. You can search for programs by geography, age served, and program type, making it easy to find local programs in which kids can flex their giving muscles. (If you know of a program and it’s not represented here, please let us know and we’ll add it to our growing list.)

Youth and parents can also explore Causes: Youth in Action, which highlight some of the leading program interests for youth philanthropists. Environment, immigration, and mental health represent program priorities for which Candid was able to identify robust youth-led involvement. Each of these issue areas has a dedicated page with key stats about giving to that issue, youth-led organizations that are most engaged in the cause, a road-map for steps to action, and peer advice. Each page serves as an excellent starting point for young donors to think about giving to make a difference. My 14-year-old son also enjoyed poking around the Funding Map to see the full landscape of issues and causes youth are supporting.

The entire platform serves to give young people a real sense of hope and possibility to be part of leading the change instead of just the subject of change. Young people are at the forefront of so much change in today’s world and empowering youth to engage in giving with their communities is helping to diversify and strengthen our field. I am excited to learn more about how the field benefits from youth philanthropy and how philanthropy can invest in building young people’s power.
With that, I wish you and yours a healthy and happy holiday season filled with the promise of hope and possibility!

This letter originally appeared in GrantCraft's newsletter. To stay updated with our newsletter and special alerts, sign up here.