YPI takes an innovative approach to directing grant dollars to local charities by involving high school students in the decision-making process. YPI works with schools to develop students’ knowledge and skills as active and informed philanthropists, in order to help them bring about positive and lasting change in their communities.
YPI grants are provided in association with generous partners and donors. These partners range from large, national organizations to small, regional foundations and local businesses who join in YPI's mission to give youth a unique opportunity to experience what it feels like to direct where money goes in their communities.
YPI is a one-of-a-kind initiative that empowers youth to direct funding to grassroots social service charities in their own communities.
YPI takes place as an inclusive, experiential project in secondary school classrooms, where students work in teams to research, visit, and present on the work of a local charitable organization that provides services to people in their community. Student teams then share with their peers, teachers, and community members through final presentations why their chosen charity deserves funding. The student team who is deemed to have the most effective presentation will secure a $5000 YPI grant that will go directly to their charity to assist them in providing services that impact their community.
In order to qualify for a YPI grant, charitable organizations must be registered with the government authority, as well as located in, and providing social services directly to, the participating school’s local community.
YPI was created to help you to raise awareness for important social issues, and to provide the opportunity to direct funding to local charities helping people in your own community. Students who participate in YPI tell us that this practical, professional and invaluable education experience unites them with things they really care about (and perhaps might not have otherwise known about). YPI can do this for you too, connecting you to issues that matter to your community and to the people working hard to make a difference. YPI offers a jumping off point from which you can use your unique skills to help bring about positive change in your own backyard.
In order for a charity to be eligible for YPI, it must be officially registered with the government authority, it must be community-based, and must directly provide a social service to people in your local community.
For more detailed information, visit our How to Find a Local Charity page for everything you need to know about selecting, contacting, visiting and researching a local community-based charity in your area.
This is up to you, really... the sky's the limit! Remember, you are trying to convince your peers and/or the final presentation judges that your charity is most deserving of a $5000 grant. There is important information that needs to be included, but that doesn't mean you can't also be creative. For more information and tips on creating a great YPI presentation, visit our Give a Great Presentation page.
We hope that these are the questions you'll ask yourself and your teachers after your in-school YPI experience comes to a close. There are many ways you can help make a difference and help raise awareness of important issues being addressed - and important work being done - in your own backyard. YPI students often remain involved with their chosen charity by:
helping them to create a Facebook page, Twitter profile, or other social media account
creating a promotional video or sharing a video created for the student group's YPI presentation
becoming a youth advocate and helping to raise awareness of the charity and the support services it offers
You can discover more ways that YPI students stay involved and sign-up to our Alumni email list here.
YPI is an inclusive educational experience, helping students learn that everyone can make a difference in their communities. In mandatory courses, every student has access to YPI’s experiential learning model, school culture is influenced across student cohorts, and the impact of your students’ social engagement grows for your community as a whole. For support on implementing YPI within your mandatory course, please contact us.
Through YPI, student teams make a shortlist of 3 potential charities they’re interested in visiting. We advise students to not procrastinate, and to have a “Plan B” if the first charities they contact are not able to arrange a visit. For more information, please see our guide on finding an eligible charity.
The recipient of a $5000 grant YPI grant is decided at each participating school’s YPI Final by a panel of judges (majority student-led panel). YPI Finals are held after an initial round of classroom-level presentations.
YPI staff are always available to support teachers in learning about the program, initiating it, addressing student questions, and helping your school get the most impact for your students and community. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can also speak with other teachers in your school who have experience facilitating YPI in previous years.
There are a variety of YPI resources available to support you once your school is enrolled in YPI, including our robust Teacher Resource Guide, phone and email support from the YPI team throughout the year, a visiting YPI representative at your YPI Final assembly, and YPI 101 – a introductory orientation over the phone for new teachers, geared to explain the YPI process and answer any questions you may have.
For a local grassroots charity, YPI provides an opportunity for your organization to be advocated for on behalf of informed and engaged students from the same community in which you operate. The students who have contacted you are participating in a “co-opetition” as part of their school curriculum, for which they have identified your charity as carrying out important work that benefits people living in your shared community. These students are hoping to visit your charity, learn more about you, and then advocate for the work you do in hopes of securing your organization a $5000 YPI grant!
YPI is powerful for students because it connects them to real issues affecting their communities, and the charity visit is a key part of this. It opens students’ eyes and minds to the needs of vulnerable people living around them and the vital work being done to help. The YPI charity visit has the potential to unlock a powerful connection, one that will often fuel students’ passion and determination to make the most of their YPI experience and work even harder to advocate on behalf of your organization.
Students will develop a presentation to be delivered in their classroom advocating on behalf of your charity. The top presentations from each class will go on to participate in a YPI final at their school, where one group will secure a $5000 grant for their chosen charity (that could be you!). Outside of their YPI experience, students may choose to stay involved with your charity, whether as volunteers, youth advisors, fundraisers, or in other capacities.
If their chosen charity is selected as the recipient of a YPI grant, students will most often notify the charity by phone immediately following their school’s YPI final, or shortly thereafter. We always prefer YPI students to be the bearers of this good news, but if they are unable, your charity will be notified by a YPI representative.
Your passion and dedication is contagious. The more you passionately you share what you do and how you do it, the greater the impact it will have on the YPI students who visit and advocate on your behalf. Whether you secure a grant or not, YPI offers an unprecedented opportunity to influence young people in developing empathy and discovering the needs of their community, and how they can get involved.