Youth Philanthropy in Indiana A Summary of 2018-2019 Programs

Each year, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) surveys Indiana community foundations that promote youth philanthropy. This information is used to better understand the work and impact of youth philanthropists in Indiana, and gives insight into youth philanthropic trends.

Held within a community foundation, a youth council is typically made up of students from area high schools who are engaged in philanthropic service by supporting the work of the foundation through grantmaking and volunteerism. Youth council members assess community needs and have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, becoming contributors to the success of their community through the giving of time, talent, and treasure.

Out of the 25 total community foundation youth programs, 23 foundations representing 24 counties participated in IPA's 2019 survey. This includes 20 traditional youth councils and 3 school-based programs. Not all respondents answered each question.

2019 Survey Results

Held by community foundations to support ongoing youth council work
  • West Washington High School: Purchase materials to redecorate the special education “calming room"
  • Center Cemetery: Restore historic gravestones and gravel
  • New Horizon Rehabilitation: Create job training for individuals with mental disabilities
  • Black Vulture Project: Fund teen film workshop
  • Pure Initiative: Fund Sexual Risk Avoidance Program (SRA) for 8th graders
  • Kate’s Kart: Provide books to children in hospital
  • Camp Navigate: Provide start-up funds for coffee shop
  • Troy Center Alternative School: Purchase Chromebooks
  • Faith of a Mustard Seed Ministry: Fund suicide prevention seminar
  • Smith-Green Community Schools: Purchase “real care” babies and software
  • Beyond Homeless Game Night: Played with child residents of a local homeless shelter
  • Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine: Volunteered at this prom for developmentally disabled youth and adults
  • Little Phil: Shared with area 4th graders how they can use their time, talent, and treasure to help others
  • Cahoots Coffee Café: Co-hosted game nights open to community youth
  • Read Across Kosciusko County: Promoted literacy by reading to 2nd grade students
  • Ark Animal Rescue Bookstore: Organized and packed books
  • Department of Child Services: Provided Christmas present for kids in foster care
  • Greenfield Head Start: Provided lunch for the teachers, classroom supplies, and played with students
Washington County Community Foundation Youth Council
For Youth (ranked)
  1. Performing Service Projects
  2. Grantmaking Process
  3. Team-Building Exercises
  4. Attending Meetings
  5. Fundraising
For Staff (ranked)
  1. Member Engagement
  2. Staff Time
  3. Member Recruitment
  4. Record Keeping
  5. Lack of Financing

Hancock County Community Foundation: Had 100% attendance at nine meetings/service projects. Members prepared questions, reviewed applications, and interviewed four finalists for a youth philanthropy award for high school juniors. Later, they presented the award and a $1,000 check to the recipient’s nonprofit of choice.

Scott County Community Foundation: Completed a strategic plan which included sending a survey to youth council alumni. 100% agreed they intend to remain involved in their community after college graduation. 100% said their experience with the youth council gave them a better understanding of the community foundation and nonprofits in the community.

Steuben County Community Foundation: FIST prioritized volunteering outside of its planned service projects this year, requiring members to complete a certain number of hours at a nonprofit of their choice. FIST members became the go-to group for a local nonprofit coffee shop whenever they needed volunteers for community projects.

Dearborn Community Foundation: The youth council wrote pen pal letters to 8th graders of a local school each month. The goal was to help with any questions they may have as they transition into high school.

Kosciusko County Community Foundation: KEYS members review the final reports from grantees to better understand the impact of grantmaking. They are able to see that youth are being given the opportunity to participate in exciting, creative, and hands-on activities they may not have otherwise been able to because the teachers or organization lacked the funds to make it happen. Feedback from teachers regarding Read Across Kosciusko County reports that students have been more motivated to read following KEYS members visiting the classroom.

Legacy Foundation: During an anti-bullying rally that had received funding from one of the youth grants, an 8th grade girl stood up and reflected on how she was bullied when younger and then became a bully herself out of anger. One day, she realized she was hurting others the way she had been hurt and made a commitment to change. The rally prompted her to share her experience with her peers that bullying is not the answer.

From Youth

“…Together, through various service projects, team-building activities, and grants to support community projects, we have not only built life-long friendships but have also cemented a lasting common belief in supporting our community through philanthropy.”

“I was completely unaware of what [the foundation] did in the community before my involvement in the YGC. I believe the YGC has totally shaped my career path of community development, and I am so thankful for the experience.”

“I have learned to be more social and vocal. I have had to take the initiative to talk to people and be open with my opinion in different issues.”

“I never knew there were so many great organizations around our community. It feels great to help them succeed because they deserve it for all of the good they provide to the community and the youth in it.”

“I enjoy learning about community projects. I feel like a member of Shark Tank, it’s cool to be able to hear about projects and decide how much money to give them.”

Created By
Indiana Philanthropy Alliance Team