The Center for Arab American Philanthropy’s Teen Grantmaking Initiative (TGI) is based on the model of youth philanthropy groups around the country. The TGI program teaches high school students about community issues, grantmaking, nonprofit management, communication and community leadership. This year TGI is offering student groups and nonprofit organizations in the Detroit metro area (including schools, and community groups with a 501(C) (3) non-profit status) the opportunity to apply for grants to support education and health initiatives. Examples of eligible projects include programs working to improve in-school performance, programs helping teen mothers to achieve their educational goals, and projects working on drug and tobacco education and prevention. In evaluating each application, funding decisions will be made based on certain criteria. After reviewing all of the applications, TGI will select up to 5 organizations to receive grants of $1,000-2,000 per project.
TGI, unlike many other youth philanthropy groups, does not currently have an endowment for their grantmaking program. This means the group does not have a pool of money gaining interest annually, which they can grant out to deserving nonprofit projects.
Despite this, the youth have become proactive fundraisers, venturing into their neighborhoods and securing funds from local businesses and community members. Funding through the Give for Youth platform would comprise a large portion of TGI’s 2013 grantmaking goal and program costs, the rest of which will be secured through various fundraising initiatives – devised by the youth themselves.
TGI stands unique as the only Arab American teen philanthropy group in the country. The group’s 2013 grantmaking program will not only support a variety of Detroit area education and health-related projects, it also represents an invaluable opportunity for minority youth to make important decisions about social change in their community. The year-long grantmaking process enables these youth to recognize and experience societal challenges, devise solutions to these challenges, and make their voices heard on critical issues. Additionally, TGI’s grantmaking is cross-cultural, and supports a multitude of youth of all ages from a mixture of ethnic and religious backgrounds. Throughout the year, TGI members conduct site visits to grantees and participate in service projects alongside a variety of other youth, which allows members to reach out and build bridges beyond simple financial support. TGI has big plans to start national chapters around the country, help us make our goals reality!
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