Earlier this year, the MFF team traveled to Australia and New Zealand to spark a global conversation about philanthropy. One of the unexpected gems we found in Queenstown, New Zealand, was a passionate group of young people starting a national philanthropy movement. We were inspired by their drive and enthusiasm and couldn’t ignore the similarities between their mission and that of the Student Support Foundation. We invited Generation Give to write a guest article on The Reach, and the team did not disappoint. Read on to learn how a group of students is empowering their peers to become educated, impactful philanthropists.
Meet Generation Give
by Beatrice Onions
Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials. Demographers have long compared groupings of people by birth year.
In New Zealand, we have the perfect title for the new age of earth walkers: Generation Give! In 2019 a Youth Philanthropy initiative was born in the tourist honey-magnet of Queenstown, New Zealand. The founders? Three teenagers who have a zest for philanthropy (that’s us!) And an itch to tip it on its head.
This is how it works:
A board of 18 GenGive Students from the local high school attends a 2-hour session every Friday for 20 weeks of the school year. Local philanthropists in their respective fields of Marketing, Finance, Fundraising, etc, join the session and share their industry expertise. Fast-forward 20 weeks and these high school philanthropists are ready to allocate $10,000, donated by corporate sponsors, back into the local community. It makes every bit of difference having change-making sponsors on board- Craigs IP, an investment advisory firm, and Roost Mortgages, are our heroes! These two businesses were on board from the first day we met when we could only have dreamed of the outcome we had at the end of the year.
Now for the bit that only gets more exciting every time we tell it- The Hugo Charitable Trust, a national pillar in the NZ philanthropy space matched the $10,000 grant total. Subsequent $5,000 grants were bestowed upon 3 of the 6 charities in a follow-up presentation by the Generation Give students as well as $15,000 administrative support to YPNZ. In total, the Queenstown Generation Give Pilot Program cultivated $35,000 to be invested back into the local community. The diverse grant recipients included Happiness House, a community support center, Trails Trust, a local non-profit creating public trails and Wakatipu Youth Trust who support young people aged 10-24 to achieve positive outcomes through both support and advocacy.
What makes us different:
“What really makes the program special is that it is entirely youth-based, meaning we run our meetings, make our own decisions and are in charge of our own fundraising.” (Helena Hornbacher, GenGive 2019). This ‘made by youth, for youth’ concept is what has intrigued so many people, businesses and charities across New Zealand.
Always ‘Under Construction!’
Perhaps the best evidence for Generation Give’s impact is the national program rollout this year.
Christchurch Community Foundation and Auckland Community Foundation are each piloting a Generation Give program with participating Schools in March 2020. We are hugely excited to expand into two major cities whilst kick-starting an Advance GenGive Programme in Queenstown, the flagship program which will be entering its second year.
The Advance Programme is tailored to Generation Give Graduates who want to continue their philanthropy journey at a higher, more entrepreneurial level. It is humbling to see nearly every single student re-apply for the Advance Programme. That is the best bit about young people- they trust other young people to create change even as it is being defined.
Generation Give meets Student Support Foundation!
The YPNZ mentors and Generation Give team were lucky enough to meet Carrie Morgridge and her incredible team of disruptors in Queenstown this month. As a young non-profit, hearing the wisdom of these awe-inspiring philanthropists and the success of the Student Support Foundation chapters, was truly awe-inspiring.
If you have any questions for Beatrice and the Generation Give team, they would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.