Youth-Led Community Challenge
This resource was developed in collaboration with the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) Youth Philanthropy Task Force powered by Michigan youth, CMF members, and nonprofit leaders. For links to all the resources, go back to the overview.
What Is a Community Challenge?
"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." - Margaret J. Wheatley
A Community Challenge is a themed initiative that energizes the health and spirit of the community around a shared vision and engages widely diverse participation - across ages, talents, gender expressions, races, faiths, sectors, and abilities. The guide below features youth as key organizers, with the purpose of identifying and addressing community needs under the guidance of cross-sector facilitation.
Some Popular Examples of Community Challenges
More examples of Community Challenges
Bring the Community Together
This guide to designing and implementing a youth-service-oriented “challenge” activity may be used by foundations, nonprofits, community organizations, schools, families, youth councils, and other groups.
The “challenge” activity has the primary purpose of involving people across all populations in taking action for the common good and may be framed as either a friendly competition or an incentive to meet a goal collectively. The goal may center on an identified community need and be measured in dollars, tasks, visitors, or other creative expressions. The challenge provides an opportunity to do the following:
- Bring diverse voices and people together with a shared vision for the good of all
- Identify and address a community need by listening to those most impacted
- Build awareness of businesses and nonprofits and pride in the community
- Empower and encourage youth leaders
- Increase positive perception of youth
- Build new networks and lasting partnerships across boundaries
- Demonstrate the ways a community can work together to achieve a common goal by combining different strengths and talents
Explore more benefits of engaging youth
Plan the Challenge
These are the basic steps of planning and carrying out a youth-led community challenge. Each step is described in detail in the PDFs below.