By Mark Larimer, Foundant Technologies
One of the most satisfying and exciting opportunities we have at Foundant Technologies is to spot and highlight growing trends.
One of the trends we see in our work with over 600 grantmakers is the involvement of youth (ages 8+) during the grantmaking process. These young people represent the future of grantmaking, and their generation’s view of philanthropy is sure to influence the entire charitable community.
We think it’s important not only to pay attention to this trend of youth grantmaking, but also to invest in the development of these young philanthropists. As a result, for the past several years, Foundant has sponsored efforts to engage next gen members in philanthropy. We are proud to have been part of this exciting evolution in the field.
Consider what involving youth could mean for your giving. Think about how you might benefit from a different perspective when evaluating your processes or reconsidering your current funding focus. A young voice can spotlight old habits by asking questions or making suggestions. Youth will also provide insight into how the younger generation views common problems. For example, who better than young people who spend their days immersed in education to provide a unique and grounded perspective to grantmakers in education? Finally, the energy and enthusiasm youth bring to this work are contagious. They put in tremendous effort and thought even for grants many consider small; to them, $1,000 is indeed life changing.
More often than not, youth approach philanthropy differently than adults. When you involve them, you can expect a more hands-on approach. The younger generation expects a relationship with their causes. This relationship, most likely, is as simple as following them via social media, but they want to hear the stories of the people they are helping. Most youth programs we have seen include some type of volunteerism as well.