This article was posted on Chronicle of Philanthropy by Rebecca Koenig on January 3rd, 2017.
In philanthropy, it often feels like a chasm divides charities from grant makers and donors from recipients. Those who stand to benefit the most from grant dollars usually don’t have a say in how money gets spent. “Problems and solutions live together in the same place,” says Ana Oliveira, president of the New York Women’s Foundation. For the organization’s new Girls IGNITE Grantmaking Fellowship, that place is in the minds and hearts of young women. Hoping to tap into the expertise of young women of color concerning the issues that affect them, the foundation and the YWCA of the City of New York teamed up to create a youth grant-making program that puts girls from the city in charge of awarding $30,000 to different nonprofit projects.
The fellowship organizers put a lot of effort into recruiting a diverse group. The YWCA sought candidates from public and private schools, foster-care agencies, religious institutions, health centers, and LGBTQ organizations. It also reached out to groups in public-housing communities to make sure that population was represented.