Our State of Generosity - Powered by the Johnson Center for Philanthropy Logo

Project Profile:

Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project

A project of the Council of Michigan Foundations

youth grantmakers

Project Timeline:

January 1991 to January 2011

Locations Impacted:

State of Michigan

Collaborating Organizations

W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 65 Michigan community foundations and affiliates

About the Project

The Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project (MCFYP) was launched as a $35 million challenge grant program between the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the community foundation members of the Council of Michigan Foundations. The goals for each community foundation were to raise flexible endowment funds, strengthen the operations of community foundations, and involve youth as grantmakers. The overarching goal was to assure that every community and donor in Michigan had access to a community foundation. The MCFYP challenge built on a three-year pilot project, and lessons learned from the pilot were integrated in to the larger MCFYP challenge.

The Kellogg Foundation approved a 2:1 challenge grant of up to $1 million per community foundation, if the community foundation raised the matching funds for their unrestricted or field of interest endowments, and involved youth in philanthropy. The results were that every individual in Michigan had access to the support provided by a community foundation, community foundations raised flexible endowments, and over 80 Youth Advisory Committees (YACs) were established and permanently endowed.

YACs were created as a way to involve youth in philanthropy, while providing valuable hands-on learning experiences for future community leaders. Each YAC was composed of approximately 20 young people, ages 13–17 who reviewed proposals, made site visits, and listened to grantee presentations. The community foundations came to depend on the youths’ critical insights into the true needs of their communities for future grantmaking efforts, bringing youth issues to light in a new way. In addition, MCFYP YACs showed youth that they could have a positive effect on their communities and create real change.

Funds from the Kellogg Foundation challenge grant were endowed in permanent youth funds, to be administered by future YACs. The matching grants were used to grow the permanent, flexible endowment assets of the community foundation. In 2013, Formulative Evaluation Resource Associates conducted a 20-year, longitudinal report on the effects and results of MCFYP.


VideoVideo: Watch leaders discuss the history of the Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project (MCFYP):


Funds Raised/Distributed:

Key Accomplishments/Outcomes:


VideoVideos: Watch leaders discuss the success of the Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project (MCFYP):

Related Historical Documents
Related Leader Profiles
This profile was last updated: 02/19/2015