By Lisa Moore
Hometown Weekly Correspondent
In 1997, the Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program was created by the Foundation for Metro West. The program was designed to give students an opportunity to learn about philanthropy and be involved in philanthropic work within their own community. To date, there are 14 established YIP programs that have positively impacted the 33 towns and cities within the Metro West region. Through their participation in a 17-week program, YIP students develop a deeper understanding of their own community needs, learn teamwork skills, build leadership skills, and develop an increased knowledge of local nonprofit organizations. With this knowledge, students work in groups to identify current local needs, visit perspective sites, create a fundraiser to raise the first $1,000 towards their $10,000 goal, develop grant proposals to secure more funds for the program in need, defend their grant proposals, and see the final donations reach the selected programs in need.
By fostering community responsibility, a desire to care for the needs of one’s neighbors, and the desire to invest in the future of one’s own community, YIP hopes to improve the quality of life for all citizens within the Metro West region. Having educated over 1,250 local youth and providing over 6,500 hours of professional development workshops to local nonprofit organizations, YIP has been able to distribute over $14 million dollars to organizations that support hunger relief, local families and children, and enrich the arts and conserve the environment.
YIP is committed to increasing the impact they have on local communities. One way to ensure philanthropy continues in perpetuity is to establish an endowment for every YIP program. The Wellesley YIP program has been running strongly for the last four years. With partial funds provided by the Fund for Wellesley, YIP Wellesley is hoping to create a permanent fund to support the local YIP program and local community needs. With a goal to raise $500,000 for the endowment and create a permanent source of funding to support the Wellesley YIP program, an initial gift of $100,000 has been donated by a local Wellesley family, and an additional $20,000 has been raised prior to an April 12 kickoff party announcing the effort at endowing the Wellesley YIP program.
Understanding that the youth of today will become tomorrow’s leaders, YIP hopes to harness the power of those youth who desire to create change, and teach them the tools they need to become problem solvers.
Students and families looking to join Wellesley Youth in Philanthropy or learn how their family can become more philanthropic can contact Senior Philanthropy Officer Renee Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone interested in donating to the endowment of the Wellesley YIP program may learn more at www.thefundforwellesley.org.