I recently had the opportunity of attending the Youth Philanthropy Connect Conference at the Disneyland Resort in California. The conference is hosted by one of our client’s, Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation and Foundant is a proud sponsor. The conference is youth-led and a great way for youth involved in philanthropy to connect and learn through a peer network. The conference schedule included two keynote speakers and several concurrent sessions available for both youth and adults with a balance of free time to enjoy the park.
One of the highlights for me was the YPC Giving Circle in which attendees of the conference were able to use Foundant GLM to review mini-grant applications on-line that were submitted by five non-profit organizations in the southern California area. The group would later meet to deliberate and determine how they would like to disperse the $3,500 available. The scores provided a starting point for discussions which were facilitated by an adult but almost completely driven by the youth with an emphasis on consensus. The youth met for over two hours to determine the award amounts. They listed pros and cons for each organization and in the end all of the organization were provide some amount of funding.
I found the youth ranging in age from 8-21 very engaged in the conference. You might anticipate a roomful of youth attending a conference at the “The Happiest Place on Earth” restless and eager to get out to enjoy the rides. To the contrary, they were curious, intrigued and quite remarkable in their attentiveness and genuine attitude to making a difference through philanthropy.
-Betty Bloomer, Client Services Manager