Impactful youth philanthropy non-profit marks over $10 million in grants to local charities as it returns for 12th year in Canadian schools

TORONTO, ONTARIO – August 27, 2014

The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) – an innovative approach to charitable giving, community-building and youth engagement – will return to Canadian schools for a 12th consecutive year, having granted over $10 million to local grassroots charities since first launching in 2002.

“We’re so proud of the students who take part in YPI and have made this achievement possible,” says YPI president and co-founder Julie Toskan-Casale, quick to give credit to the grade nine and 10 students who secure $5000 grants for charitable organizations with a community focus. “It’s because of their advocacy that we’ve been able to grant over $10 million to social service charities. When you’re talking about community-based, grassroots organizations, that level of funding goes a long way.”

Founded by the family that created M∙A∙C Cosmetics, YPI aims to motivate high school students to research, interact with and advocate for charities in their own communities, giving them first-hand exposure to local social needs, and offering the opportunity to direct funding to organizations working to fulfill those needs.

“There are a lot of grassroots charities out there that don’t get the attention or the funding they deserve,” says Toskan-Casale. “At the same time, there seem to be fewer and fewer opportunities for young people to participate in meaningful experiences that can influence not only their education and employability skills, but their very character as active and compassionate citizens. YPI gets these two groups working together so that both are able to benefit and meet their own goals, while also having a positive impact on the community at large.”

Last year, Canadian students were responsible for granting $785,000 to a wide range of social service charities. Students take part across an entire grade level as part of their mandatory grade nine or 10 courses, researching and visiting local charities, then presenting their findings in hopes of securing a YPI grant for the organization they have chosen to advocate for. In 2013-14, over 25,000 students from more than 150 schools across Canada took part in YPI.

“Hands-on, practical education initiatives like YPI are so important in developing confidence in young people, so they can own the direction they’re headed and connect with the things they are passionate about,” says Holly McLellan, International Director of Programming. “By also giving students responsibility in decision-making, we’re able to offer them the chance to make a difference, and to learn through experience where grant dollars are most needed in their communities.”

With the 2014-15 academic year getting underway, over 40,000 students internationally are set to advocate for local charities through YPI. In addition to running across Canada, YPI also takes place in schools in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and the USA.

YPI is an initiative of the Toskan Casale Foundation.

About YPI
The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) was founded in 2002 through the Toskan Casale Foundation to offer grants to local social service charities while simultaneously helping to bring up the next generation of active and informed philanthropists. YPI combines in-class learning with real-world community development experience, giving high school students the tools they need for understanding and engaging in philanthropic activity. Through its resource-rich school programming, YPI enhances curriculum in order to build students’ presentation, research, writing, communication and consensus-building skills, while the students themselves increase advocacy for, and fund grants to, local charitable organizations.

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