The Northern New York Community Foundation’s 2020-2021 Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge is now OPEN. Download an entry application here. Completed entries must be received at the Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601. or postmarked NO LATER THAN Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Contact Kraig Everard, Community Foundation director of stewardship and programs, 315-782-7110, or email@example.com to learn more.
About the challenge
The Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge began in October 2017 as an effort to engage middle school-aged children in the principles of community and philanthropy. That year, the Community Foundation selected 23 winning entries from more than 60 submissions by 7th- and 8th-grade students in Jefferson and Lewis counties, awarding grants to 19 nonprofit organizations totaling $10,000 in support. The Watertown-based nonprofit Stage Notes was a 2017-2018 Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge partner. The 2018-2019 Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge was expanded to also include 7th- and 8th-grade students in St. Lawrence County. Community Bank N.A., joined the effort as a program partner, providing a generous gift to help underwrite the grant awards.
The initiative strives to help participants explore their concept of community and provide funding to eligible 501(c)(3) charitable organizations that embody and support what students feel makes their community a great place to live. Through a written essay contest, the Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge asks students to explain what community means to them and to choose a nonprofit organization that best embodies their definition of community. Students compete for a chance to award a $500 grant from a total of $10,000 available that the students themselves recommend. Twenty students are selected and each personally presents a $500 grant to the nonprofit organization they have chosen while spending time with the nonprofits’ leadership, learning about the organization’s mission and how it serves tri-county residents.
We are pleased to continue this initiative with support from a generous private donor, as well as all who give to the Friends of the Foundation Annual Community Betterment Fund.
Click here to view a list of 7th- and 8th-grade students whose essays were selected as 2019-2020 Youth Giving Challenge winners and the nonprofit organizations they chose to receive a grant. Check back to view a photo gallery of past Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge winners!