YPC started out as a simple idea: the meeting of philanthropically minded youth together to learn from and connect with each other. The Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation involved the family’s children in the foundation from the start and created a formal junior or ‘next gen board’ in 2006. In the years that followed, its junior board presented at an Exponent Philanthropy conference and on a Council on Foundations webinar, which resulted in a national presence prompting collaboration with other foundations who had similar practices involving youth ages 8-21 in the work of foundations and family philanthropy. In 2011, thirty-five youth from four foundations (the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation, Gaines-Jones Education Foundation, Lumpkin Family Foundation, and the Tarsadia Foundation) came together and created the environment and relationships that led us to where we are today.
Because of the tremendous enthusiasm and potential for growth from that first meeting, the second year’s retreat became a full-fledged conference, attracting more family foundations and national nonprofit organizations. It featured multiple concurrent sessions taught by experts, keynotes, a giving circle, and team building exercises. In addition, board members, staff, and youth boards from eight Southern California based nonprofit organizations were invited for a one-day educational program, where they learned side by side with their foundation counterparts. YPC’s Giving Circle awarded $2,000 in mini-grants to support the youth board projects of four of those nonprofit organizations.
For the past five years, Youth Philanthropy Connect has hosted an annual conference modeled on professional philanthropy conferences geared toward youth philanthropists. It is designed as professional development and peer networking for youth, with additional programming for the trustees, parents and staff who work with them. Adult advisors and staff have empowered the youth to organize and build the conference.
In 2015, YPC partnered with youth philanthropy advocates across the U.S. to host five, day-long regional events in the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Midwest in lieu of our national conference. Each one of these gatherings was a blast! They provided YPC a way to connect with existing youth philanthropy audiences, expand youth grant-making educational programming, and grow our network of youth philanthropists.