Empowering young changemakers to shape our future
Gen Z is America’s most diverse and progressive generation. Theirs are the voices of the future – and hearing from them is critical to our shared work. That’s why we’re on the lookout for young people and mentors to help launch our Youth Philanthropy Council!
Why join the Youth Philanthropy Council?
The Council offers young people a chance to explore a potential career path – and to start making an impact in Fairfield County, right now.
Learn about careers in philanthropy while building skills in leadership, grantmaking, and fundraising.
Build a Network
Connect with young people and community members who are passionate about making change.
Share Your Voice
Use lived experience and insights to help influence the Community Foundation’s decision-making.
How the Council Works
The Council is made up of a small group of young people between the ages of 16 and 24, who are supported by volunteer adult mentors and Foundation staff. Its members meet both virtually and in-person, for an average of four to eight hours per month, and commit to serve for two years before a new Council cohort is selected. Each member, both youth and mentors, will receive stipends plus in-person travel costs over the two-year commitment.
What the Council Will Do
Council members meet regularly with mentors and as a group, to create their own grant cycle process with advice and guidance of the Community Foundation. From there, the group will evaluate applications, visit local nonprofits, plan volunteer activities and ultimately determine grant awards.
Along the way, the council will meet with staff and leadership to provide input and insights to inform the Community Foundation’s decision-making on grants to local nonprofits tackling important issues in Fairfield County.
Become a Youth Member
All teens and young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who live full time in Fairfield County are invited to apply! We are seeking a Council representing a diverse array of voices, background and experiences, with members passionate about issues and challenges facing local youth in areas such as housing, health, education and careers, and economic opportunity – the key focus areas for the Community Foundation in our work with nonprofits, donors, elected officials and the general public.
During the two-year program, Council members will be introduced to many aspects involved in nonprofit and philanthropic management. Topics include:
- Learning about social enterprise
- Learning about the business of philanthropy, including charitable fund management
- Learning how nonprofit organizations work and how they are funded
- Going on site visits to nonprofits that have submitted grant applications
- Reviewing proposals and working towards consensus on grantmaking
- Evaluating the junior cohort experience and preparing for the capstone ceremony
Council members can expect to spend four to eight hours per month attending virtual and in-person meetings, site visits and activities. Members serve on the Council for two years.
Each council member will receive a stipend of up to $1,875 per year for participating in the two-year program, based on a 4-8 hour per month commitment. Additionally, funds are available for transportation related to attending Council meetings and events.
Click below to go to our online application. There are a series of general questions about you and your background, and we ask you to answer one these “bigger picture” prompts:
What do you value about your community and why?
What do you hope to see in the future?
What’s your favorite thing about your community?
You can respond in any format that works best for you. Write us an essay, include a link to a video, or even post a link to a Tik Tok! The most important thing is learning about YOU.
Oh, and if you are a minor, there is also a form for a parent to fill out providing permission for you to participate
Become a Mentor
All adults who live in Fairfield County and have general knowledge of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector are invited to apply! Successful applicants must be able to devote the necessary time to carry out this mentorship role over a two-year term, and pass a background check. Strong consideration will be given to BIPOC leaders who have:
- Experience working with (or parenting) teens or young adults
- A commitment to philanthropy and civic engagement
- Excellent communication skills in both writing and speaking
- Organizational and time management skills
- Flexibility and a sense of humor.
Mentors help facilitate and coordinate all Council activities, while serving as a cheerleader and coach for youth members. They ensure that youth members actively participate in all group sessions, as well as activities between sessions. They also will help mentees develop leadership skills and qualities such as critical thinking, teamwork, active listening and self-awareness. Mentors provide ongoing feedback and encouragement to mentees, both individually and as a group. Specific tasks include:
- Reading and preparing for the delivery of the junior cohort program curriculum, including attendance of any required training workshops
- Participating in the student applicant interview and selection process
- Preparing for / attending the Student-Parent Orientation Session
- Taking a Safe Practices online training course and signing a Code of Conduct
- Preparing for and participating in the delivery of Council learning sessions, site visits to nonprofit organizations, and all other program activities
- Maintaining contact with the mentee team between sessions as advised or requested
- Managing documents received from the Program Coordinator including curriculum, lesson plans, student information, session documents and related materials.
- Advising and assisting the mentee team members in planning and delivering volunteer activities
- Participating in ongoing evaluation of the program
- Helping to plan and deliver the final Capstone Ceremony
Mentors would need to commit approximately three to four hours a month to the program, including a two-hour monthly student learning session. In addition, mentors will need to commit time to attend site visits and engage in their team’s service projects which could range from 12-15 total hours during the school year. A 3-hour mentor’s retreat to evaluate the program and plan for the next year is typically held in the summer. The mentorship period runs for two years, the length of the cohort.
Yes. Mentors will be compensated for participation in the two-year program. More information will be provided during the application process.
Have more questions about getting involved with the Youth Philanthropy Council? Contact our Program Associates Sarah Omotunde and Alli Ganim at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly at (203) 750-3200.
To learn more about youth education equity and career development – and how the Community Foundation can help amplify your impact, contact Joe Collin, Vice President, Philanthropy, at JCollin@fccfoundation.org or (203) 750-3200.