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.  

In 2024 14 schools will participate in Youth in Philanthropy.

  • Australian International Academy
  • Camberwell Grammar School
  • Lauriston Girls’ School
  • Mac Robertson Girls’ High School
  • Melbourne Grammar School
  • Methodist Ladies’ College
  • Mount Scopus Memorial College
  • Parade College
  • Shelford Girls Grammar School
  • Strathcona Girls Grammar
  • The Academy of Mary Immaculate
  • The King David School
  • Trinity Grammar 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 not-for-profit organisations they are working with.

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

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

The program incorporates six activities: 

Identify | Select & Learn | Visit | Allocate | Fundraise | Report

Click on one of the activities above to jump to the section below.


Identify the issue

  • All members of the committee participate in an opening online event to develop a Philanthropic Objective that aligns with one of the Foundation’s Impact Areas
    • This Philanthropic Objective then informs which charities the committee works with through the course of the program.
    • Committees must complete the Philanthropic Objective form after the opening Forum.
  • Young people are supported by the YiP co-ordinator who will work alongside the committee through the grantmaking process.
    • This may include assessments of funding applications, interviewing potential grant recipients and making funding recommendations.

Select & learn about three not-for-profit organisations

  • Committees will be given the opportunity to select three not-for-profit organisations from a list of pre-approved organisations working within the Impact Area that they select. The committee will then consider applications from these three not-for-profit organisations and conduct site visits to learn more about their work. The organisations have been through the Foundation’s due diligence processes so we know they have the correct tax status to receive a grant.
  • With the assistance of the coordinator, the committee will undertake research and analysis of the grant applications.

Visit the selected not-for-profit organisations

  • The committee must liaise directly with the grant partners and schedule the visits at times that suit.
    • The committee is required to evaluate the grant applications prior to meeting with the grant applicants and develop some relevant questions to ask.
    • Contact details for grant applicants will be provided to coordinators once a committee has selected its three grant partners (not-for-profit organisations).

Allocate grants

  • The committee will be allocated $10,000 from the Foundation’s grants budget to distribute to three eligible grant partners (not-for-profit organsiations) that work in areas aligned with the committee’s philanthropic objective.
    • The minimum grant is $500 and the maximum grant is $9,000. 

Fundraise (optional)

  • The committee’s allocation may be increased through fundraising within the school or local community.
    • The Foundation will match any funds raised, up to a cap of $2,500, thereby increasing the potential distribution total to $15,000.
  • All distributed funds will be administered by the Foundation, and any funds raised will need to be provided to the Foundation prior to or at the same time the Grant Recommendations are submitted.

Report & Publish

  • After the not-for-profit organisation visits have been conducted, the committee will be required to complete the Grant Recommendations form online by Monday 29 July. 
    • In making their decisions around the allocation of funds, committees should consider a range of factors such as: 
      • social impact; 
      • need for the program/project; 
      • organisational capability; 
      • value for money and many others. 
    • Coordinators and coaches will support the committee in their grant making decisions.