PRESS RELEASE: Government funding will inspire the next generation of philanthropists

An innovative programme to raise awareness of philanthropy among young people has been awarded £303,800 from the Social Action Fund (SAF). The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) currently works with 10,000 young people in England, developing skills through hands-on experience of philanthropy and providing them with ‘real life’ experiences of charitable giving.

Working in teams to identify the social needs of their local community, pupils select a local charity that best addresses their chosen issue. They interview staff and beneficiaries before preparing a presentation for a judging panel with the best team winning a £3,000 donation for their charity. The new funding from the SAF means the London-based project can expand to the Midlands and North West, enabling a total of 18,000 pupils to participate.

Since September 2007, 40,000 young people in England have participated in YPI and over 220 local charities have benefited from donations totalling over £660,000. An evaluation report from York Consulting, also published today, praised the success of the programme to date: “YPI is an intensive, all-round skills development package for schools, with universal appeal for young people of all abilities. Feedback from young people and the commitment shown by them shows how much they enjoy and value taking part.”

Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, said:

“The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative is clearly making a real difference to communities across the UK. The money we have awarded through the Social Action Fund means this hugely successful initiative can extend its reach beyond London enabling more young people to support local good causes. It will broaden young people’s horizons, empower them to address community issues and gives them real opportunities to develop their teamwork and presentation skills. Head teachers across the country should embrace this programme.”

Alex Reynolds, YPI Director, said:

“We are hugely grateful for this support from the Social Action Fund. It will enable us to inspire thousands more teenagers across the country to positively engage with their local communities and develop a new generation of philanthropists.”


Notes to editors

  1. For further information or to request an interview, please contact Anna Zachariassen on 07794 126211 /
  2. A complete list of successful applicants to both windows of the Social Action Fund is available at
  3. The Social Action Fund is managed by The Social Investment Business, on behalf of the Cabinet Office and will fund social action projects in England from civil society organisations, public sector bodies and businesses with a track record of delivering social action programmes.
  4. The Social Action Fund is part of a broader programme of support for social action that was announced in the Giving White Paper and takes its place alongside two other funding streams – Innovation in Giving Fund and Challenge Prizes.
  5. The Social Investment Business, the largest social investor in the UK, exists to help social enterprises, charities and community organisations do more of what they do best – supporting people and communities most in need. It helps organisations prosper by providing innovative financial solutions, business support and long term strategic thinking @TheSocialInvest
  6. The Social Investment Business manages the Futurebuilders Fund and the Social Action Fund on behalf of the Office for Civil Society, the Social Enterprise Investment Fund for the Department of Health and the Communitybuilders Fund which was endowed to parent charity the Adventure Capital Fund by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
  7. It has over 1,100 active investments ranging in size and scope from, for example:
    1.  £3,600 to help a small organisation bid successfully for a public sector contract;
    2.  £6.7million to help a large national charity establish and develop innovative new services for children and young people.
  8. The Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) is an active citizenship programme that raises awareness among young people about philanthropy. The programme was launched in Toronto by the Toskan Casale Foundation and is directed in the UK by the Institute for Philanthropy.
  9. The York Consulting Evaluation of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative is available here

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