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On-Site Staff / Partnerships and Building Relationships / Program Design, Development, and Quality / Staff Leadership and Management

A Time Of Transition And Growth

I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with youth development and out-of-school learning time since 1998. For the past eight years, I’ve been the Program Director of the Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII). In that time, I’ve watched as YPII built a strong local, national, and even international reputation as a thought-leader and become a significant resource for training on youth philanthropy, young people sharing their time, talents, and treasures.  Through numerous collaborations, we’ve developed impactful resources, convened vibrant youth summits, created an archive of youth philanthropy webinars, and offered hundreds of training opportunities for foundations and nonprofits.

Starting in 2019 YPII will transition youth philanthropy programming into the programs and services of its fiscal agent, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA). For the first time since 2007, I’m shifting away from youth development to IPA’s Director of Learning, designing and implementing programming for foundations across Indiana. During this time of transition, I look back in gratitude for all the partnerships, counsel, and collaborations I’ve had. I’ve been amazed to see nonprofits truly integrate youth voice and leadership into their programs and strategic mission.

It’s also an amazing time to celebrate the many youth philanthropy resources we’ve developed, including the newest one, Developing Youth Philanthropists. This guidebook is designed to help organizations create engaging youth programming that builds life-skills of young people. It provides summaries of hands-on activities with embedded links to full activity instructions, lesson plans, handouts, videos, articles, and websites.

Developing Youth Philanthropists outlines a variety of activities foundation staff can introduce to their youth councils at both introductory and advanced levels. Each activity can be customized to address the needs and continued development of newer youth council members, as well as those nearing the end of their time in the program.

As I look to the New Year during this time of transition, I look back in gratitude for all the partnerships, counsel, and collaborations I’ve had in the youth development sector. But I move forward excited to know that next-gen engagement and youth philanthropy will become a core part of IPA programming and more importantly a part of the national out-of-school learning movement.

For breakfast, I had a donut, coffee, eggs with veggies.

Author: @jillgordon

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