The Youth Movement

Grade Level: 
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
History of Philanthropy
Youth Advisory Committee
Youth Club
In this activity participants are introduced to the history of youth organizations in the 20th Century and begin to understand the history of their own youth organization.

What is the history of Youth Philanthropy? What impact do you see youth philanthropy making in the future?


30 minutes 


  • Printed copies of History of Youth Philanthropy timeline (see handouts below) 
  • The Michigan Community Foundations' Youth Project Timeline (see handouts below)
  • Interactive Philanthropy Timeline created by Westminster Schools
  • Online Philanthropy Framework of definitions and concepts


  1. Ask participants to review the History of Philanthropy timeline attached below and look for roots of their own organization or place their organization on the timeline. If you are in YAC or a youth philanthropy group apart of the MCFYP program you may also choose to review the attached Michigan Community Foundations' Youth Project Timeline. Finally, if your group is looking to take a deeper dive into the history of philanthropy, we encourage you to visit Learning To Give's Philanthropy Timeline (see handouts below). 
  2. As they review the timeline(s), ask participants to reflect on these questions: 
    • Why were most of the philanthropic events or organizations started? 
    • Were they responding to a need in society at that time? If so, what were some of the events? Place some of these on the timeline. 
    • What are some of the differences you see in your organization today that might not have been there when it began? 
    • Are there events happening today which will cause your organization to change the way they do things? What are some of those things? 
    • What organizations might begin in the years 2050 to 2100? Why? 
    • What do you think might change in your organization in the next millennium? Why?  
  3. Participants may decide to create a timeline placing their organization in the context of the History of Philanthropy and share it with the Board of Directors of the organization or Planning Committee. Some suggestions may be considered as they plan for the future of the organization!