By CommonAction - The youth engagement specialists  



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Freechild Reading List on Involving

Children and Youth in

Philanthropy, Foundations & Grantmaking


INTRODUCTION: Youth voice, youth involvement, youth participation, youth-centered programs, community youth development, meaningful youth engagement, youth civic engagement, child-friendly communities... Each of these titles are meant to summarize initiatives that are active, empowering, and democratic experiences for young people as they create change in their own lives, as well as the lives of others in the organizations, institutions, and communities they belong to.


Point to Ponder: "Rather than standing or speaking for children, we need to stand with children speaking for themselves. We don't need a political movement for children... [we need to] build environments and policies for our collective future." - Sandra Meucci

= free publication




Lessons in Giving: The KIDS Plus: Youth in Philanthropy Program - By Minnesota Grantmakers. From Explore How to Improve Youth Giving Through Youth Philanthropy.


From the Streets to the Boardroom: A Young Philanthropist Talks About Youth Organizing and Leadership


Best Practices in Youth Philanthropy - By Pam Garza and Pam Stevens for the Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth.


Teaching Philanthropy in Schools - The Council of Michigan Foundations. This is a comprehensive set of curriculum lessons, units and materials for teaching philanthropy from kindergarten through high school.


Making the Dollars Matter: Young Philanthropists Take Up the Business of Change - By What Kids Can Do.

Minnesota Toolkit for Giving - A compendium of publications, tools, and organizational links covering four areas: teaching philanthropy in schools, youth volunteering and community service, youth as funders, and youth philanthropy publications.


Youth in Philanthropy - By Baltimore Giving Project.  This publication includes research on youth involvement in giving and service; lessons, activities, and resources for teaching youth philanthropy, and information on Baltimore’s “Youth as Resources” program.


Connecting With Generation Y: Sensing a Big Opportunity, Many Charities Look for Ways to Entice the Newest Wave of Potential Donors - By Elizabeth Greene. Sensing a big opportunity, many charities look for ways to entice the newest wave of potential givers. While many nonprofit organizations discount Generation Y as being too young to make a dent in their coffers, others see a big opportunity.

Charity's Youth Movement: Children and Teenagers Take on Nonprofit Leadership Roles - By Domenica Marchetti. Teenagers are becoming vital players in the nonprofit world by starting their own charities, sitting on grant-making boards, raising money, volunteering, and leading efforts to solve problems in their neighborhoods, schools and beyond.

Changing the Face of Giving: An Assessment of Youth Philanthropy - By Matt Rosen. This study, commissioned by the James Irvine Foundation and written by the Youth Leadership Institute, examines youth philanthropy as it currently is practiced and recommends future directions for the field.

High-School Senior and Peers Are a Growing Force for Philanthropy - By Debra E. Blum. Charities are beginning to look to the younger generation of teenagers as a vital force in the philanthropic world as emerging programs in philanthropy around the country seek to get young people more involved—as decision makers, fund raisers or key volunteers.

Young and Philanthropic: Students at a Florida High School Raise Money and Distribute Grants at Community Foundation They Run  - By Susan Gray. Students at Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL are involved in what is believed to be the first community foundation founded and run by teenagers. Established in 1994, the Pine Crest Community Foundation is like any community foundation: Its leaders raise money and use it to make grants to local charities. Through this foundation, the teens are not only learning about philanthropy, but they also are getting the experience of participating first-hand in the joys of giving.


Youth Service Fuels Charity: Adults Give More Time and Money If They Volunteered as Youngsters, Report Says - By Philanthropy Journal. As stated in a report by Independent Sector and Youth Service America, youth is a driving force in American philanthropy. Americans who volunteer when young are more generous adult donors and volunteers than are those who don’t volunteer when young.




The Freechild Project Section Investigating Youth Involvement




action guides

adult allies

boards and committees

book reviews

community groups

critical theory

freechild publications


Henry Giroux

John Holt



voice & involvement

Paulo Freire





 social change

young people

youth rights

Youth on Board

What Kids Can Do






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