Youth In Philanthropy Fund Supports Projects by and for Youth

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Local youth grantmaking board funds 14 projects by and for young people in area schools and communities

Northeast MN – A group of 13 high school students from northeastern Minnesota schools have recently approved 14 grants to support youth-led school and community projects. The Youth In Philanthropy Board, a program of the Northland Foundation’s KIDS PLUS Program, is guided by four volunteer adult mentors. The pool of grant dollars they have available to award over the course of the school year is generously provided by the Minnesota Power Foundation. The students on the 2016-2017 Board are from Aitkin, Chisholm, Cloquet, Duluth, Ely, McGregor, Superior, and Wrenshall. Each year, potential members are identified by school and community contacts and invited to apply. The students may serve multiple terms on the board up until high school graduation, gaining valuable experience in philanthropy, volunteerism, teamwork, and leadership along the way.

An executive board elected by their peers leads the Board in grant application review, discussing the merits of each proposal, and voting to award grants up to $1,000 for youth-driven projects. There are three rounds of grantmaking each year: October, January, and April.

“Youth in Philanthropy has been such a lasting success by offering diverse young people—not necessarily students who have held visible leadership roles before—from all different schools and communities, a unique way to learn and exercise leadership,” said Lynn Haglin, Northland Foundation’s Vice President/KIDS PLUS Director.

"The experience empowers them to give back, not only as students, but also once they become adults. Many graduates over the years have come back and shared how meaningful this experience was for them,” Haglin added.

Since it was established in 2000, Youth In Philanthropy has resulted in more than 300 grants totaling over $250,000 within the region to support projects such as peer mentoring programs, community beautification, afterschool opportunities, STEM learning, and much more.

These grants are made possible thanks to key support from the Minnesota Power Foundation, a longtime partner of the Northland Foundation in establishing and continuing this special youth development opportunity in the region. 

For a list of grants, see