Philanthropy is about strategy and choices. When foundations make choices and award grants, young people do not usually have a say in them, even when the grants affect them. Yet, young people have tremendous capacity to listen, to understand, and to make tough decisions. Involving them in grantmaking can have huge benefits and some interesting practices are emerging that give young people a prominent role in grantmaking. This case story explores in more detail one model -- Youth Bank -- that engages young people directly in grantmaking.
Inspired by practices of community foundations in the US and Canada, the model is spreading rapidly in Europe and globally. It particularly appeals to funders who are interested in engaging young people more actively with their communities. Since the model is very much hands on and youth-led, YouthBank has a strong appeal for young people.