The Youth in Philanthropy program was established by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation in 2002 to help young people learn about philanthropy, current community issues and community leadership.

The aim of the program is to inspire young people to use their enthusiasm, creativity and energy to begin a life-long engagement in philanthropy and social change, and to develop the necessary skills and abilities to work with a diverse range of people from all cultures and social groups.
We believe that one of the most effective ways to solve some of society’s most pressing issues and create positive and systemic social change is to invest in and provide philanthropic opportunities for young people.

The soul of philanthropy is in people, and its future is in young people who have a commitment and passion to leave the world a more equitable and sustainable place than they found it. 

Participation in the Youth in Philanthropy program will allow young people to develop values such as integrity, empathy, responsibility and respect; values that resonate with the Foundation’s vision of social inclusion and cohesion for all, and our mission of increasing life opportunities for disadvantaged members of our community. The program also provides opportunities to problem solve, research, collaborate and learn decision making skills. 

Program participants

The Youth in Philanthropy program began with four Melbourne schools: Mac Robertson Girls’ High School, Melbourne Grammar School, Melbourne High School and University High School.  The program has since grown considerably and there are now 19 participating schools:

  • Australian International Academy
  • Brighton Grammar School
  • Camberwell Grammar School
  • Carrum Downs Secondary College
  • Hume Central Secondary College
  • Ivanhoe Grammar School
  • The King David School
  • Lauriston Girls’ School
  • Mac Robertson Girls’ High School
  • Melbourne Girls’ College
  • Melbourne Grammar School
  • Melbourne High School
  • Methodist Ladies’ College
  • Mount Scopus Memorial College
  • Parade College
  • Ringwood Secondary College
  • Trinity Grammar School
  • University High School
  • Werribee Secondary College

Program Structure

A key part of the Youth in Philanthropy program is to encourage young people to develop awareness and deepen their knowledge of the charitable sector, and build relationships with the charitable organisations they are working with.

The program has been designed for senior secondary school students, generally selected from Year 10.

Schools are also free to choose participants from Years 11 and 12, whom they feel may benefit from being involved. 

Each school selects between four to eight students (maximum) to form a Youth Grantmakers' Committee, supported by a coordinator (usually a teacher or another member of the school staff).