“Did you ever think of what would happen if everybody did things like…”
That line from one of my favorite childhood books came to mind when Amy Armstrong and I kicked-off the SVPAZ Next Generation Partners (NGP) program on October 15. The vision of the program is to engage children of Partners, and their friends, grades 4-12 in the full life cycle of philanthropy. The program will culminate in April when the NGP present a grant to a selected organization.
The program is meant to teach NGP life skills as they move through the program. The activities include: gaining consensus on a focus area; researching organizations and pitching ones they are passionate about; defining the grant application; reviewing financial details of applicant organizations; fundraising at the Annual Partner Holiday Party; coordinating and attending site visits; convening to review applications and make the final selection; volunteering at the selected organization as part of the donation; and presenting at the Spring Partner event.
The program is off to a great start! The group has selected a focus area of Technology in Education and defined the grant application. The group has agreed to meet every two weeks to review team action items and keep momentum going. Next steps are to select organizations that will be invited to apply and determine the method and approach for fundraising. SVPAZ will provide a matching grant.
Currently, we have seven NGP involved in the program and their energy and participation is incredible. There is a nice mix of older kids to help the younger ones engage.
My passion for the program stems from a book my mother used to read to us when we were little called, “If Everybody Did.” If everyone gave back to our community, we could really make an impact. The hope my co-chair Amy and I have is that the NGP participants will deepen their awareness that our community is a vibrant and fluid place that always has unmet needs. And, that if everyone did something, we could narrow the gap of unmet needs. My hope in participating and helping lead this program is to broaden awareness in our children that their efforts can be impactful.
Imagine. “If Everybody Did.” It’s not too late to get involved. If you (and/or your student – kids in grades 4-12) were unable to attend the kick-off and would like to attend future meetings OR know have strong recommendations for a local nonprofit you’d like NGPers to consider in their grantmaking, please reach to Steve Smiley.
A SVPAZ Partner since April 2016, Tracy Powers is a Senior Business Intelligence Manager for Ports America with more than 20 years’ experience in IT and management consulting.