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 



  1. Ask participants to review the History of U.S. Philanthropy timeline and look for youth philanthropy efforts and the roots of their own organization (or place their organization on the timeline). If you are in YAC or a youth philanthropy group that is part of the MCFYP program, you may also choose to review the Michigan Community Foundations' Youth Project Timeline linked above. You may ask youth to scan the Youth Philanthropy paper (above), or you can highlight the important parts.
  2. As they review the timeline(s), ask participants to reflect on these questions: 
    • Why were most of the youth 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 that 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 20 years? Why?  
  3. Participants may decide to create a timeline placing themselves and 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!