Foundations Focus on Youth as Resources

Some funders are moving towards providing money for programs incorporating community involvement, leadership and philanthropy among youth — areas which were previously considered adult undertakings — the Children & Youth Funding Report reported Feb. 18.

According to Jera Stribling, executive director of the Joseph S. Bruno Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama, an effort is under way to focus juvenile funding on “youth resources” programs in order to create new philanthropic opportunities.

Stribling said the change in funding priorities was evident at the recent Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. The forum’s New Ventures initiative is among the programs that focus on youth as resources, since they are the community leaders and decision-makers of the future.

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio is conducting a New Ventures initiative called “Perfect Gift.” Designed for children ages 5 to 9, the effort teaches children the importance of giving.

The Council of Michigan Foundations has been promoting philanthropy among children since 1998 through its school-based program, called “Learning to Give.” The program teaches children about democratic values, philanthropy, and nonprofits, and helps students master collaborative, planning, discussion, and problem-solving skills.