Future Philanthropists Program
With this unique program, high school students learn the art and science of philanthropy and make decisions about the distribution of $30,000 in grant funds to worthy local nonprofit organizations. The students also evaluate the impact of their decisions on youth issues as a result of the grants they distribute and learn to raise funds in an effort to maintain this grant-making effort.
1. To instill knowledge and understanding of the important role of philanthropy in the community and in society.
2. To give teens a leading role as primary decision makers in the important process of allocating grants to charitable organizations.
3. To teach teens the art and science of fundraising in order to plan and implement activities that result in charitable contributions.
4. To provide opportunities for teens to express and demonstrate volunteer leadership activities in the community.
Juniors from Oak Park-River Forest High School, Fenwick High School and Trinity High School are eligible to apply. Each year approximately 25 students are accepted into this highly competitive program to which they make a two-year commitment. In their junior year the participants learn about philanthropy as it pertains to foundations, non-profits, businesses, etc. They then review grant proposals, decide which requests get funded, and subsequently evaluate the impact of these grants. In their senior year the students learn about the pillars of fund-raising and strive to raise monies in a variety of ways to give back to the program. Adult mentors from the community whose own philanthropy, fund-raising, and volunteer activities are notable provide guidance to both the junior and senior cohorts.
Grant awards are made by the junior cohort in the spring of each year at the Future Philanthropists Program Capstone event, and the fund-raising successes of the senior cohort are announced at this time as well. Every dollar raised goes back into the Future Philanthropist Fund held at the OPRF Community Foundation to help grow and maintain the grant-making by the next group of juniors in the following year. Everyone is invited to contribute to this endowed fund that will continue to provide the resources to educate future philanthropists, while making an impact now to benefit young people in our community.
The Role of Philanthropy Mentors
Adults serve as role models for young people in a variety of ways. We participate as volunteers for nonprofit organizations, as directors on boards and advisory groups and as donors to charitable and civic causes. These are ways we demonstrate our commitment to give something back to the community in order to make it stronger and more sustainable for generations to come. These are behaviors we strive to model for our young people.
This demonstration and modeling of philanthropy is an integral part of the Future Philanthropist Program. The purpose of the Program is to bring active adult community leaders and donors together with young people interested in experiencing a “real life” learning-by-doing philanthropic immersion. Through this mentoring role we hope to help young people attain a higher level of knowledge and understanding of the role of philanthropy in the community as they reach adulthood.
Philanthropy Mentors participate in one of two ways depending on the level of interest and time availability, as Speakers and as Core Mentors.
Future Philanthropists Program Alumni Leadership Award
As we teach our students, philanthropy is about making positive change that results in a more just and charitable world. Leadership is about providing a vision that inspires others and a commitment to action. This is the framework around which we strive to recognize and reward Future Philanthropists who best demonstrate these ideals during their college years. Through this application process, we encourage them to share the philanthropic and leadership activities and projects they have pursued or are continuing to pursue either on campus or in the community. Each award winner received $1,500 to be applied toward tuition or used to fund the project or activities for which the award was given.
2019 FPP Alumni Award Recipients
Isaac Stopeck, for his work in the full time, residential, federal service program AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). The program involves completing multiple 4-8 week projects centering on one of following categories: environmental stewardship and conservation, disaster response, urban and rural development, infrastructure improvement, and energy conservation. Isaac began in Norton, Virginia, helping to restore the economy of a community devastated by the decline in the coal industry, worked in South Carolina helping to clear debris and suppress mold from homes affected by Hurricane Florence, assisted in helping to prevent Minute Man National Park from deterioration, installed sheetrock at a science museum in New Jersey, and assisted in a community garden in Washington DC. His roles as Team Leader and Team Recruiter taught him much about working with others to reach a common goal while improving the surrounding community and the lives of those who reside there.
Christina Strand, for her involvement in Lawrence County, Kentucky working for the Appalachia Service Project, an organization that provides free home repair to families living in central Appalachia who do not have the means to repair their home themselves. Christina was responsible for assessing the applications, surveying the families’ need, and choosing which projects her team worked on. This involved not only making the construction plans and checking in on the houses and staffers each day to assess the status of each project, but also being responsible for the finances of the center, creating budgets for each project, selling merchandise, and creating fundraising plans to raise money for the center. Christina lived the motto of ASP, “building relationships with construction on the side", and learned that philanthropy is the most rewarding when primarily focused on people and the human spirit - it's "so much more than just a job."
Apply to the Future Philanthropists Program
Application deadline: September 9, 2019 at 9:00 pm
On May 23 at the 2019 Capstone Ceremony, the impact of student efforts was announced. Juniors presented $25,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations serving youth. Seniors raised over $134,000 to support the ongoing Future Philanthropists Program, providing assets to build an endowment for program support and dollars to grant in 2020 and beyond.
The Class of 2019 announces the amount they raised this past year.
Rick and Cheryl King, founders of the Future Philanthropists Program, announce that the FPP Endowment Fund has surpassed one million dollars.
Jane Houseal, Class of 2020, welcomes guests to this year's Capstone Ceremony.
Mae Irvin and Christopher Hugh, Class of 2019, prepare their remarks
Parker Phillips, Class of 2020, presents a grant award to Chidori Lively from Sarah's Inn.