Youth Giving Since 2001 Totals $19 Million, Study Finds

Philanthropists under the age of 30 have given a total of more than $19 million since 2001 through youth grantmaking programs, a study from, an initiative of Foundation Center, finds.

According to the study, more than eight hundred and fifty known youth giving programs in thirty-four countries have adopted grantmaking models that shift some financial decision-making power to youth. The funds come from endowments, foundation grantmaking budgets, or direct fundraising by youth themselves, and are awarded in grants ranging in size from $100 to $50,000. Most of the programs feature a high level of engagement, with youth responsible for identifying community needs; soliciting, researching, and debating proposals; and determining funding allocations. The analysis also found that participatory grantmaking — including models that specifically involve youth — is on the rise, with a focus on sharing knowledge about curriculum, structure, tools, and practice across programs.

"We believe that investing in youth is not just about the future, it is about their ability to be leaders in their communities today," said Cecilia Clarke, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Community Foundation. "Our youth grantmakers direct support for youth-led projects and inform our overall strategy. They hold us accountable to the challenges they face every day growing up in Brooklyn's neighborhoods as they actively engage in problem-solving around those issues. Young people are honest brokers, with contagious energy and vision for their communities that we should all leverage in our institutions."

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