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Topical Resource Lists

Engaging Youth in Philanthropy and Voluntarism:
A Resource List

Experts recognize the importance of involving youth in charitable activities in order to develop the next generation of philanthropists. This resource list contains citations to selected works from the Foundation Center's bibliographic database, Catalog of Nonprofit Literature for people interested in cultivating young volunteers, nonprofit decision-makers, and philanthropists. For complete bibliographies on various youth-related topics, search Catalog of Nonprofit Literature, using a combination of the following subject headings: Children or Youth and Philanthropy or Voluntarism.

Cultivating Young Philanthropists

Berkshire, Jennifer C. "Courting Generation Next: Charities Try New Ways to Attract Big Donors Under 40." Chronicle of Philanthropy vol. 19 (9 November 2006) p. 25-7.
Charities are learning to cater to younger donors through informal events and opportunities for hands-on fundraising work. Young donors also see opportunities for networking and career growth in philanthropy.
Falk, Katherine. "The Young and the Generous." Advancing Philanthropy vol. 11 (November-December 2004) p. 20-23.
A description of the Youth in Philanthropy program, established by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in the early 1990s. Through local and state chapters, the organizations seek to educate young people about giving and volunteering.
Greene, Elizabeth. "Connecting with Generation Y." Chronicle of Philanthropy vol. 15 (24 July 2003) p. 31-3.
Explains how nonprofits are targeting young adults in their fundraising efforts, especially on the Internet.
Hrywna, Mark. "Pre-alumni Giving: Schools Getting Students in the Giving Habit." NonProfit Times Direct Response Fundraising Edition vol. 20 (15 April 2006) p. 1,4.
Provides examples of higher education institutions that are asking their students for donations.
Needleman, Ted. "Donor Behavior: Nonprofits Turning to Games to Train Young Donors." NonProfit Times vol. 18 (1 July 2004) p. 18-20.
Some nonprofits are using video games to teach young people about politics, health issues, and various social causes. It is still too early to determine whether the games are effective in cultivating young donors.
Nobles, Marla E. "Raising Kids Who Care." NonProfit Times Direct Response Fundraising Edition vol. 20 (15 March 2006) p. 1, 4, 6.
Explains how nonprofits are helping parents to introduce philanthropic values to children.
Siska, Darlene M. "Learning the Business of Philanthropy." Chronicle of Philanthropy vol. 18 (18 May 2006) p. 14-5.
Describes the work of the South Carolina Youth Philanthropy Partnership, which helps high school students learn how to start businesses and practice corporate philanthropy. The program was established by the Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Lipscomb Family Foundation, and Junior Achievement of Central South Carolina.
Westcott, Scott. "Face Time." Chronicle of Philanthropy vol. 19 (25 January 2007) p. T-2-3.
Nonprofit organizations are using social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook to connect to volunteers, promote awareness, and increase membership. Westcott stresses the importance of understanding the culture of these sites and maintaining fresh content in order to sustain online relationships.

Young Volunteers

College Students Helping America. Washington, DC: Corporation for National & Community Service,. 2006. 23 p.
This analysis is based on statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics and includes a state-by-state ranking of college student volunteering. The researchers conclude that college student volunteering increased by approximately 20 percent between 2002 and 2005.
Hand, Nathan. "Exploring Youth Volunteer Service Requirements." Volunteer Leadership, (Winter 2007): p. 26-30.
Discusses the pros and cons of volunteer service requirements in schools across the country. Preliminary research indicates that mandatory service programs are not achieving goals. With bibliographical references.
Meinhard, Agnes; Foster, Mary; Wright, Pike. "Rethinking School-based Community Service: The Importance of a Structured Program." Philanthropist/Le Philanthrope vol. 20 (February 2006) p. 5-22.
The Ontario government established a mandatory community service requirement for secondary schools in 1999, and it has become controversial. The authors look at the frequency and types of volunteer service prior to the legislation, and compare that to the situation after the new requirement was enacted. With bibliographical references.
Michaels, Marty. "A Nobel Effort for Peace." Chronicle of Philanthropy vol. 18 (14 September 2006) p. 7-9.
A profile of the PeaceJam Foundation, a charity that links Nobel Peace Prize laureates with young people to work on community services and social justice projects.
Murdock, Shelley W. "Increasing Staff Effectiveness when Working with Teen Volunteers." Journal of Volunteer Administration vol. 22 (Number 2, 2004) p. 49-54.
Includes a sample job description, training guidelines, and worksheet.
Safrit, R. Dale; Edwards, Harriet C.; Flood, R. Warren. "Using the Web to Train and Support Teen Volunteers: An Initial Assessment of the North Carolina Try-It (Teens Reaching Youth through Innovative Teams) Program." Journal of Volunteer Administration vol. 23 (Number 4, 2005) p. 41-7.
Research based on two surveys taken in 2003. The authors conclude that the potential for Internet-based training is substantial. With bibliographical references.
Tomaselli, Kathleen Phalen. "Kids, Volunteering and the Digital Age: The New Way to Recruit Youth Volunteers." Volunteer Leadership, (Winter 2007): p. 14-20.
The article provides examples of how organizations can promote youth civic participation, especially with the help of online technologies.

Young Decision-Makers

Allen, Paula. "Youth and Philanthropy: Legal Issues, Practical Consequences." New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising vol. 38 (Winter 2002) p. 49-66.
A report on the status of efforts to involve youth in nonprofit governance and decision making, with a close look at the experience of Youth on Board.
At the Table: Youth Voices in Decision Making [video recording]. Chevy Chase, MD: National 4-H Council, [200?]. 15:00 minutes.
A two-part video on the topic of youth involvement on nonprofit boards. The first part presents myths vs. reality on the appropriateness and interest of young people to serve on boards; part two provides suggestions for consideration when young people are invited to boards: logistics (meeting times and transportation), environment (cooperation and a sense of belonging), and equality (full voting rights, equal responsibilities). Accompanied by a discussion guide.
Bates, Kelly; Young, Karen. . Somerville, MA: Youth on Board, [2002]. 64 p.
A guidebook that provides an overview of state laws regarding youth board participation, presenting summaries of statutes on minimum age requirements. Gives advice on maximizing youth involvement given the laws in each state.
DeLaMar, Roy. "Engaging Youth as Leaders." Volunteer Leadership, (Winter 2007): p. 31-3.
A profile of Greater Tucson Youth Leadership, a project of the Volunteer Center of Southern Arizona. The two key components of the program are the Youth Leadership Institute and the Youth Boardmanship and Philanthropy Institute.
Goldberg, Alison D. "Opportunity of a Lifetime: Young Adults in Family Philanthropy." Passages vol. 4.1 (May 2002) p. 1-8.
Discusses the benefits of involving young people in family foundations and volunteering, offering specific suggestions and examples of how to go about it.
Price, Susan Crites. "A Movement within a Movement." Foundation News & Commentary vol. 44 (September-October 2003) p. 36-9.
Provides a synopsis of several initiatives for youth involvement in philanthropy, especially within community foundations. The model for a youth advisory committee, devised by the Council of Michigan Foundations, has culminated in more than 80 such boards in that state alone. Includes tips for successful work with young people.

Links to Internet Resources

The Foundation Centerís Youth in Philanthropy (
The web site provides links to help young people get involved in philanthropy, and allows visitors to share stories about their volunteer service.
At The Table (
Provides resources for involving youth in decision-making, serving as a forum for sharing best practices. The Youth Voice Database describes youth participation at various organizations.
Do Something (
Young people visit this Web site to discuss how they can make a difference in their communities and learn how they can find the resources they need for their projects.
Learning to Give (
Learning to Give was established in 1997 with the mission to further civil society by teaching children about the voluntary sector, developing their philanthropic understanding, and encouraging citizen participation.
Youth on Board (
Provides resources and services that help young people and adults work more effectively together to improve their communities.
Youth Service America (
A resource center and coalition of thousands of organizations that seek to increase the quantity and quality of service opportunities for young people.
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