YouthBank is more than youth-led philanthropy; it’s an opportunity for young people to impact their community, learn new and expand current skills, and promote opportunities for young people to collaborate on building communities for everyone. In partnership with YouthBank International, Youthprise is excited to be bringing this innovative youth philanthropy model to the United States.
Starting with eight pilot sites in 2015, Youthprise is building a statewide network of youth-led grantmaking entities in Minnesota. Together, we are co-creating a US-based approach for replication statewide and beyond.
In Youthbanks around the world, young people engage in a youth-led process to address what they feel to be the most pressing public issues affecting them. As a group, they work to recruit a diverse group of peers, learn necessary skills, conduct research on local community issues facing youth, raise funds, promote a call for grants, interview applicants, issue grants, evaluate the results, celebrate their achievements, and then start this cycle all over again.
In YouthBanks here and around the world, young people engage in a youth-led process to address what they feel to be the most pressing issues affecting them. As a group, they work to recruit a diverse group of peers (14-25 years old) who have an interest in working to improve their community, to learn necessary skills, conduct research on local community issues facing youth, raise funds, promote a call for grants, interview applicants, issue grants, evaluate the results, celebrate their achievements, and then start this cycle all over again. Young people are supported by adults within a host site but they make their own decisions as to what projects they choose to carry out and direct how the money is regranted. As the group conducts its work, young people build on their training to rotate through roles as trainers, facilitators, notetakers, timekeepers, encouragers, and evaluators. Receiving feedback from peers and coaches, young people continue to grow in each of these roles and develop leadership skills.
In the summer of 2020, as a response to COVID-19, Youthprise has adapted the in-person model to a fully-virtual, online model accompanied by a program and facilitation curriculum.
YouthBank groups follow these 10 core values: youth-led, open to all young people, promoting equity & justice, participation & inclusion, promoting understanding & respecting differences, clear & fair methods of grant-making, say it as it is, developing young people’s skills & experience, reflection & evaluation, and celebration.
YouthBank empowers young people to be entrepreneurial; and supports, challenges, strengthens, and celebrates the role of young people in bringing about positive change in their communities. Youthbank is about innovation, encouraging young people to bring their perspective to bear on local issues and to galvanize other young people to action by providing resources to tackle those issues.
The YouthBank approach allows young people to identify innovative strategies and make strategic investments that address issues and concerns relevant to their communities. Youthbank process provides a platform on which young people can experiment and try things out at their own pace. That approach is systematic though flexible, challenging young people to research and explore issues influencing the lives, circumstances, and wellbeing of their peers and the communities in which they live.
Youthprise in collaboration with Youthbank organizational host sites will provide seed and operational funding, support and structure through orientation and training for staff and young people, learning community collaborations across host sites, technical assistance, grant making training, fundraising, and site development.
Our 2020-2021 organizational host sites include: Asian Media Access, Asian American Organizing Project, Northfield YouthBank, and Faribault YouthBank.
YouthBank host sites span across the Twin Cities metro and in Greater Minnesota serving a population that approximately reflects 33% Asian American/Pacific Islander, 33% Latinx, 17% East African, 10% Black, 5% White, and 2% Native American. The YouthBank host sites have anywhere between 4-20 young people involved in the design, execution, and evaluation of their grant-making process specific to their community. Each host site has a separate timeline for how they run their YouthBank programs, some organizations follow the school year calendar and others follow the calendar year.
We work with Alex Fink and Ross Velure Roholt, from the Youth Studies program at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, who are learning partners with Youthprise working on developing, strengthening, and evaluating the YouthBank model and host sites.
We’re always looking for new foundations or organizational partners to connect with around youth philanthropy!
Spring 2016: Engaging Youth in Community Building and/or Social Justice
Fall 2016: Healthy Living and/or Creating Community Connections
If you’re an organization that believes young people can make a positive change in their communities, works with a diverse group of 14-25-year-olds, and can dedicate ~10 hours/week of an adult facilitator, you can find more information on if you’re a good fit for YouthBank here.
We always love sharing and connecting on promising practices and sharing resources. If you’re interested in connecting with us to build a YouthBank model at your foundation or organization, we’re excited to help work through that with you!
Check back often to see what YouthBank opportunities arise. You can also look on our Instagram and other social media channels for updates!
Reach out to us about the best way you can get involved!
We’re a group of young people ages 13–19 working on defining and finding ways to address wellness in Hennepin County from our perspectives! We’re working with and Better Together Hennepin. We want to invite YOU to apply for a grant of up to $3,500! We’re seeking proposals from young people (25 & under) and organizations who are in Hennepin County. You can apply through creative writing or a video submission! Applications are due on Thursday, August 19th by 5 PM CST.
Our team has come up with three funding priorities for this grant cycle. We’re excited to fund projects in these areas.
1. Education and Resources: Unlearning misconceptions about sexual health by creating opportunities for youth-led sexual health education and making critical resources readily available to young people
2. Building Community Connections: Creating safe and comfortable environments for young people to talk with one another about sexual health, sexuality, wellbeing, identity, etc. even if they aren’t getting support at home
3. Mental Health and Stress Management: Creating space for young people to learn and practice stress management skills, and gain access to mental health resources, especially as it relates to sexual health, sexuality, wellbeing, identity, etc.
If you have any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org