Teens group awards nearly $30K to QC nonprofits

The group Teens for Tomorrow recently awarded $29,500 to local nonprofits through the Quad Cities Community Foundation. This total includes $18,500 the students raised through their direct work with donors. CREDIT QUAD CITIES COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

An organization for young people in the Quad Cities has awarded almost $30,000 to help six nonprofit groups in the region advance their critical work.

For more than 20 years, the Quad Cities Community Foundation’s Teens for Tomorrow (T4T) program has put young people in the driver’s seat of philanthropy. This year’s cohort of area high school students recently awarded $29,500 to local nonprofits – including $18,500 that the students raised themselves through their direct work with donors.

“The T4T program gives young people an opportunity to lead real change right here in our community,” said Sue Hafkemeyer, the Community Foundation’s president and CEO. “This cohort did exactly that. They worked together, met with donors, learned from nonprofits, and ultimately made some big decisions that will positively impact our community.”

The T4T program provides a supportive space for idea-sharing and mentoring between its students and Community Foundation leaders. Teens learn about the logistics of fundraising and the realities of running a nonprofit, and have opportunities for leadership training and public speaking. 

After a focused nine-month period of grant application reviews, site visits, interviews, and donor visits, students selected six final grant recipients. The organizations awarded grants are focused on various causes ranging from food insecurity to healthcare access.

These area nonprofits received Teens for Tomorrow funding this year:

  • Bethany for Children & Families: Give Kids a Smile mobile dental clinic support – $5,000.
  • Project NOW, CAA: Project NOW general operating support – $6,500.
  • River Bend Food Bank: Backpack Program – $2,000.
  • Salvation Army – Quad Cities: Hygiene/household supplies program support – $3,000.
  • Tapestry Farms: Urban farm program support – $5,000.
  • World Relief Quad Cities: World Relief general operating support – $8,000

“This year’s cohort was deeply committed to providing as much full funding and operational support as possible,” Kaleigh Trammell, the foundation’s grantmaking specialist, said in a news release announcing the grant awards.

“Throughout the process, even when that commitment was difficult, they reminded each other of their goals and made it happen,” she added. “They also focused on ‘upstream’ solutions, which influenced their decisions with these grants.”  

Last year’s T4T cohort gave away a record $38,000 total to eight area nonprofits. 

The Community Foundation now is accepting applications for next year’s T4T program participants. Area teenagers interested in learning about philanthropy and driving positive change in their community – and donors who would like to support the T4T program’s continued operations – can learn more at www.QCCommunityFoundation.org/t4t.

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