The future of philanthropy

Photo: Youth in Philanthropy, 2004. Participants Rui Santos, Nicole Sadler and Chayanika Abeysekara.

Youth engagement programming empowers students to be the future of philanthropy in our city. Through programs like Youth in Philanthropy (YiP), students can engage with community leaders and assess where grant dollars make the largest impact.

As a YiP alumna, The Foundation’s Youth Engagement Coordinator Aliya Mrochuk has a unique perspective on youth programming.

“[YiP] showed me how I, as a young person, was a vital component of the community in a way that no class or club had done before,” Mrochuk said in 2020. “Returning to YiP as Youth Engagement Coordinator was a lot like when I first walked into the program 10 years ago: looking for a space where I could contribute meaningful work, and hoping to connect with people who were also interested in the needs and strengths of our community.”

YiP is designed to introduce youth to philanthropy by providing hands-on experience working with local charitable organizations. Each September, schools or organizations form YiP committees. Every committee receives $5,000 from The Winnipeg Foundation to distribute to charities of their choice. Committees research charities and learn about them through visits and interviews to decide which charities will receive grants, how much each will receive, and how it is spent. The YiP program was established in 1999. Its first 56 grants totaled $145,000; it has since granted more than $1.9 million within the community.

“The Foundation provides a guiding hand and resources but it’s the young people who are the real leaders in our programming,” Mrochuk said. “Both YiP youth and our community benefit most when youth are enabled to discover the Causes that they care about, the organizations working toward that Cause, and the ways in which they can contribute to and shape their community.”

The Foundation added a Summer Internship Program (SIP) in 2005 to further expand students’ experience in the local non-profit sector. SIP is a paid, eight-week internship that builds on the experience of Youth in Philanthropy participants. Youth are paired with mentors at local registered charitable organizations who open the door to knowledge-sharing, skills building, and new partnerships within the sector. Through SIP, students gain meaningful summer employment at local registered charities, increasing charities’ capacity to undertake important, short-term projects.

The Foundation added the Emerging Leaders Fellowship (ELF) in 2013. ELF was designed to encourage young professionals and post-secondary students in Winnipeg to learn more about the non-profit sector, while increasing their experience and understanding of community issues. Currently on hiatus, ELF provided young people 18-to-35 with the opportunity to gain experience and learn more about the non-profit sector through hands-on experience. The Fellowship is an opportunity for applicants to take ownership on a major project in partnership with a local charitable organization.

Group of six teens or young adults standing together in a school field
Frontier College and Community Education Development Association Truth and Reconciliation Summer Camp participants, 2017.


Walking Together Grants

Developed in response to The Winnipeg Foundation’s Vital Signs® 2017, Walking Together is a special reconciliation granting program for young people. Schools or agencies with registered charitable numbers and a youth committee apply to receive a Walking Together grant of up to $10,000. Each youth-led project must respond to one or more of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action or an article of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

YiP in numbers:

Total number of YiP participants since 1999:5,286
Total number of schools/organizations participating in YiP 2019/20:30
Total value of YiP endowment funds:$522,916
Total amount granted:$1.95 million
Number of SIP participants per year:between 10 and 15
Total number of SIP participants:128
Total number of organizations involved in SIP since 2005:73
Number of ELF projects per year:between 4 and 7
Total number of ELF projects since 2013:20

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