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 20 participating schools:

  • Australian International Academy
  • Brighton Grammar School
  • Camberwell Grammar School
  • Carrum Downs 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
  • Shelford Girls Grammar School
  • Strathcona Girls Grammar
  • 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). 

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 Forum to develop a Philanthropic Objective that aligns with one of the Foundation’s four 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 experienced coaches who will work alongside the committee through the grant making process.
    • This may include assessments of funding applications, interviewing potential grant recipients and making funding recommendations

Select & learn about three charities

  • Committees will be given the opportunity to select three charities from a list of pre-approved organisations working within the Impact Area that they select.  The committee will then consider applications from these three charities 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 are the right tax status to receive a grant and have great organisational capability.
  • With the assistance of the coordinator and coach, the committee will undertake research and analysis of the grant applications.

Visit the selected charities

Allocate grants

  • The committee will be allocated $10,000 from the Foundation’s grants budget to distribute to three eligible charities that work in areas aligned with the committee’s philanthropic objective.
    • A minimum of $500 must be distributed to every charity the committee engages with.  This accounts for the time and effort the charities have taken in applying for the funding and meeting with the committee. 

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 charity visits have been conducted, the committee will be required to complete the Grant Recommendations form online by Friday 22 July 2022.
    • 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.
    • A YiP school magazine will also be published featuring each school's committee report, photos and videos.