This entry to the One Post Challenge comes from Jamie Kong. Jamie is the Program Coordinator for YouthChoose, a DonorsChoose.org Youth Philanthropy Program. DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit website that connects individual donors with teachers requesting materials and experiences their students need to thrive in the classroom. When donors entrust large donations to the YouthChoose program, youth in the program have the opportunity to reflect on their own educational experiences and decide together how these funds can have the greatest impact on public school classrooms through the DonorsChoose.org website. In this way, YouthChoose offers young people, who are often the beneficiaries of philanthropy, the chance to become philanthropists themselves.
A shout-out for youth. They are the next generation of philanthropists. It’s young people who are on MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Xanga, and are the segment of the population that is the most comfortable with blogging. And it’s young people who will direct the future of philanthropy. So, wouldn’t it be great if we could connect youth with the conversation that is happening here?
Reading the “$500 for Your Nonprofit” post got me thinking. The beauty of this post is that it opened the conversation to everyone and gave everyone a chance to participate—even without a new idea to introduce. It invited people who may not have their own conversation starter to join the discussion.
So, I would like to start a post for youth philanthropy. If are a young person, share the issues you care about or your experiences with philanthropy. If you work with youth, share any ideas to increase youth engagement in philanthropy. And if you don’t belong to either of these groups, share how your experiences as a young person informed your decisions about philanthropy today. The sharing of experiences can be as catalytic as the sharing of ideas.