Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy (YiP) program is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022. Launched in 2002, it was established to provide young people an opportunity to learn about philanthropy, current community issues and develop community leadership skills.
Over the past 20 years, approximately $4 million has been distributed as 906 grants, and 1500 students from 25 schools have participated in the program. The first four schools who helped launched the program are still participating – MacRoberston Girls High School, University High, Melbourne High and Melbourne Grammar.
This year’s Youth in Philanthropy Ambassador is Aishah Brockhoff who attended MacRobertson Girls High School and participated in Youth in Philanthropy in 2019.
This year 20 secondary schools from across Greater Melbourne are participating in the program. Each school forms a student committee of up to eight students and is allocated a $10,000 grants budget. The students assess three grant applications from charitable and not-for-profit organisations and undergo the process of working as a committee to make funding decisions. These student recommendations are then reviewed and approved by the Foundation’s Board.
The Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Catherine Brown OAM said, “The aim of Youth in Philanthropy has always been to inspire young people to become curious about the world and understand social challenges facing people and communities. We want them to know that it is possible to make a difference, to change policies or address social and environmental challenges in new ways. We hope to inspire young people to become effective changemakers by engaging in community philanthropy.”
In recent years, Youth in Philanthropy grants have funded a wide range of important projects across the Foundation’s four Impact Areas.
Dr Brown says that the impact of Youth in Philanthropy on students can be life changing. “We often receive feedback via our survey from students that participating in the program has been one of the best experiences they have had in Year 10.
“The critical element of Youth in Philanthropy is that it is real learning experience. Real charities and projects, real people in need and real money for advised granting. It requires a thoughtful and considered approach by students."