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AFP Youth in Philanthropy Curriculum Launched in Calgary

October 17, 2016

By Derek Fraser, CFRE

Back in 2010, AFP developed a Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) curriculum through the work of the AFP Youth in Philanthropy Subcommittee. The curriculum is called Making a World of Good – A Hands-On Learning Experience with Philanthropy, Fundraising & Making a Difference

As chair of the Collegiate Chapter Support Subcommittee, I became aware of this resource and thought it should be introduced to Canada. As many of you know, new programs are not always easy to launch and finding an appropriate partner may take some time.

Enter Youth Central, an organization located in Calgary, Alberta, that has been a long-time key partner with the AFP Calgary & Area Chapter, including tie-ins with National Philanthropy Day activities that involve students from across the area. Youth Central (formerly Child and Youth Friendly Calgary) envisions a society where all youth participate in shaping a vibrant community. As a current board member of Youth Central, we have been mulling over how to integrate the YIP program into a very busy and eclectic schedule that Youth Central already stewards. 

A Donor Comes Forward

In August of this year, Youth Central made an application to The Calgary Foundation for a community grant. At roughly the same time, an anonymous donor came forward with an interest in supporting Youth Central’s Calgary Youth Foundation, which first began in 1994 and is the first of its kind in Canada to actually give young people funds to disperse to the community for positive change. 

The Youth Foundation supports projects that are usually brought forward by youth in the community who see a need and want to help create change. The foundation distributes up to $10,000 annually. The Calgary Foundation’s donor wanted to expand this program and have it become sustainable over time. But the question was, how to accomplish that? 

The idea percolated that AFP's YIP program could be delivered to Youth Central over the course of a school year.  As a result, the young people would learn both the structure for successfully operating the Calgary Foundation and gain understanding of the importance of its programming .

Teaching Moments 

On, Wednesday, October 5, I delivered three of the first five units of the YIP program to a group of 10 students between the ages of 13 and 16. They are bright, worldly and very knowledgeable about current events in the world. These kids have a range of interests from federal politics to understanding the community needs in Calgary right now. I thoroughly enjoyed my 45 minutes with them sharing a broad understanding of what philanthropy means and how it relates to community needs.

We discussed the United Way and their impact at this time of year, as well as the shortage of affordable housing in our city. We anticipate having another three sessions with senior members of the AFP Calgary & Area Chapter delivering the next units of the curriculum 

I am personally excited to see the YIP program getting going in Canada and hope that it may one day be brought into the school system as a club activity or perhaps as part of the curriculum in junior or senior high schools across our great country.

To review the Youth in Philanthropy curriculum, visit the AFP International website.

Derek D. Fraser, CFRE is Past Chair, AFP Canadian Council


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