Young people around the world are increasingly getting involved with charitable organizations and helping to direct grant funding to groups and causes they care about—ranging from the environment to the arts to mental health to sexual safety.

According to data from, young people are learning grant-making skills and making funding decisions that impact real issues in their communities through programs organized by foundations, nonprofits, schools and local governments. Their efforts are adding up, says—since 2001, they have made over $19 million in grants ranging in size from $100 to $50,000.

Funds for distribution come from endowments, foundation budgets or grants, or direct fundraising by the youth themselves. Most of the programs feature a high level of engagement, where youth identify community needs; solicit, research and debate proposals; and ultimately determine funding allocations, the research shows. was developed by the Foundation Center to measure the breadth of the youth giving movement. After robust data-collection efforts, there are now 855 known programs in 34 countries, using a variety of models to shift financial decision-making power to youth, the data show.

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