As community agencies need for supplemental funds grows, so does the interest from both the Northern New York Community Foundations supporters and the Youth Philanthropy Council.
Because of that, the council recently doubled in size, having grown from about 16 members at its inception in 2010 to 34 members for the 2013-14 school year. The group, which isaccepting applications now from nonprofit agencies for grant proposals, will be split into two sessions: 17 members in the fall and 17 members in the spring.
Each council group will be responsible for making $10,000 worth of recommendations to the Community Foundations board of directors.
Max M. DelSignore, Community Foundation coordinator of donor services, said the total $20,000 for the Youth Philanthropy Council was made possible by sponsorship from Watertown Savings Bank and Renzi Foodservice, and donors to the Friends of the Foundation fund.
It goes back to the quality of students when the program first started, he said.
It was their dedication and passion, he said, that has spread to their peers each year.
Council adviser and high school English teacher Emily G. Sprague said students saw the impact they could make with $5,000 the groups first allotment of money and now community businesses and other support systems have allowed the councils impact to be even more significant.
To think about possibilities with their two sets of $10,000 is truly thrilling, Mrs. Sprague said. Its a very rewarding vote of confidence on the part of the Northern New York Community Foundation board. They trusted our youth philanthropy group to increase their funding.
Mr. DelSignore said the Community Foundation will continue to evaluate the Youth Philanthropy Council annually, and make adjustments, including other expansions, when and if the foundationboard sees fit.
As the Youth Philanthropy Council in Watertown has grown, another foundation-sponsored council is underway in St. Lawrence County. Housed at Potsdam Central High School, the St. Lawrence County Youth Philanthropy Council will meet for the first time next week.
Mr. DelSignore said students in that group will be responsible for making $10,000 in recommendations to the foundations advisory council in St. Lawrence County.
Meanwhile, grant proposals for the Youth Philanthropy Council in Watertown should include a general description of the nonprofit applying for funds, and the amount requested. A contact person should be listed, and finalists will be asked to make a brief presentation to each council. Submissions for the fall council should be received by Dec. 2. Awards will be announced in March. Proposals and a deadline for the spring council will be announced early next year.
For more information, call Mr. DelSignore at 782-7110.