West Coast Community Foundation Participatory Grantmaking

The West Coast Community Foundation (WCCF) used to focus mainly on funding youth projects through its grants program. But, it wasn't connecting on as deep a level as it wanted with the youth, or helping the youth working on community programs to become stronger leaders. By partnering with YouthBank, young people started to actually sit in the driver's seat through WCCF, and they became equal partners in decision-making around funds. "The young people now learn how to make grants, identify what training they need, and get funding for it as well. So they become a mini community of grantmakers who we support by teaching them what we know but also by letting them fund projects they're leading or feel are important."

YouthBank is a model for youth grantmaking that is spreading around the world, and is becoming popular especially through community foundations. For foundations like WCCF, training youth as grantmakers and empowering them as driving community voices is a direct way to build leadership capacity and to maximize impact in the community.


About the author(s)

Director of Stakeholder Engagement