Youth philanthropy is a powerful challenge to traditional philanthropy, which, in many ways, perpetuates the systems of power and privilege that it claims to address. By putting the decision-making power in the hands of young people — particularly low-income youth of color — youth philanthropy redistributes decision-making power to those most impacted.

Building Leaders in Innovative New Giving (B.L.I.N.G.) was founded on YLI’s conviction that young people are deeply rooted in their communities and have developed knowledge and expertise from their lived experiences. This knowledge guides B.L.I.N.G.’s youth grantmakers as they discuss applications and award funding— they have a sharp sense of what projects will be effective for their communities and which projects will address issues that impact youth.

BLING youth grantmakers have provided $60,000 annually to 15-20 youth-led projects that directly address important social justice issues and inequities affecting San Francisco youth and their communities. We blogged about our 2017 and 2018 B.L.I.N.G. grant recipients. 

Interested in joining as a youth grantmaker? Opportunities for paid internships as a BLING Youth Grantmaker are open to all San Francisco youth, ages 15-18. Interested youth may apply by submitting a completed application. Participants are expected to attend weekly meetings for the duration of the school year, and stipend is based upon active participation in the program.

Interested in funding for your youth-led project? Youth grant seekers can learn more about grant opportunities by downloading the grant application.


Check out these resources for further reading on Youth Philanthropy: