Youth Advisory Committee in Action
  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify and research public or social issues in the community, nation or the world related to the common good. Form an opinion, and develop and present a persuasive argument using communication tools.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
      3. Benchmark MS.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the classroom or school, such as voting, group problem solving, classroom governance or elections.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
    4. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Explain in a case statement why resources (volunteers and money) are needed.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Develop a project budget.
      3. Benchmark MS.3 Develop a service plan.
      4. Benchmark MS.5 Develop competing case statements for distribution of funds among competing priorities.
    5. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.

Participants will survey members of the community (school or local area) to determine a need, write proposals to satisfy the need, consider doing an optional one-day fundraiser to help fill that need, serve on a board of directors or a youth advisory committee to determine how such funds will be spent, and evaluate the project.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session
  • explain the responsibility to act in the voluntary sector to improve the common good.
  • design and use a survey instrument to collect data related to a need in the community.
  • explain how a youth advisory committee uses a form of “advice and consent” when making recommendations to a board of directors.
  • copies of handout: Letter to Parents
  • copies of handout: Let’s Look Around Survey
  • copies of handout: Proposal Form
  • copies of handout: Proposal Evaluation Form
Home Connection: 

Ask a parent or relative, as well as other students and community members, to complete a survey question in order to determine community needs. 

  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Put the following quotation on the chalkboard: “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.”

  2. Explain that the quotation is from Alice Walker, an African-American, Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Ask the learners if they agree or disagree with her opinion. Discuss ways young people can constructively express their power.

    Challenge them to act in the voluntary sector (giving time, talent or treasure) to improve the common good.

  3. Distribute Letter to Parents to take home. Read through the letter together and talk about the project. The project includes the following elements:

    1. Survey friends and families to find out what issues they are passionate about.
    2. Identify organizations that have a mission to meet those needs and create proposals to address a need.
    3. Determine a one-day fundraising project (car wash, cupcake sale, school dance) or a group action to take based on the needs of the nonrprofit that addresses the need. 
    4. Carry out the service or fundraiser and donate the profits to the predetermined organization.
    5. Reflect on the outcomes/impact and evaluate the process used.
  4. Together review the handout Let’s Look Around Survey. Discuss the purpose of a survey (finding out what people in the community care about). Discuss why it is important to include a variety of people (decide together who they should survey). Fill in the left column of the survey form with issue areas they brainstorm. Before the next session, each person surveys at least five people about what issue areas they are passionate.

  5. Session Two:

  6. When the surveys are returned, compile the results and select the two areas of most concern. Together look up and find a local nonprofit that addresses the top-ranking needs on their surveys.  Use Guide Star for help with this or a simple Google search.

  7. Explain that community foundations have a Board of Directors that makes the final decision on who receives funding. Many of the foundations are adding “Youth Advisory Committees” to make recommendations to the Board of Directors for some of their funding choices. They will act like a youth advisory committee and decide how to take action on one of the surveyed issues.


  8. They will write a proposal using Proposal Form (handout) and present their recommendation to the whole group or experts from the community.

  9. Implement the fundraiser and arrange, if possible, for the nonprofit beneficiary to come to your location to receive the funding.

  10. Evaluate the experience by reflecting on the following:

    • Did this project show that youth can make meaningful contributions to the common good of the community?
    • Were the goals of the project and the consequences for the school, neighborhood or local community accomplished?
    • Did this experience demonstrate the work of the community foundation in the area?
    • Was the work of the Youth Advisory Committees meaningful?

Write a short paper addressing one the following topics: Community foundations benefit from Youth Advisory Committees. The “advice and consent” model in grant making improves decision making. The experience as YAC member or board member provides valuable experience