With funding from the James Irvine Foundation, in 2001, YLI conducted the first scan and assessment of youth philanthropy at a national level. At this time, youth philanthropy gained momentum as an integrated strategy tool. Programs from across the country inside government, community foundations, private family foundations and independent schools began to seek YLI’s support and training to replicate and adapt its successful models.
In all, YLI assisted over 80 different programs and presented its model at philanthropic, education and youth development conferences. YLI’s intellectual property, high-touch approach and “youth as change makers” ideology caught fire, and over one million dollars was granted out by YLI’s philanthropy programs between 1996 and 2006.
YLI’s model was referred to as a go-to source by the Council on Foundations, The Michigan Council on Foundations and in The Kellogg Initiative connecting youth philanthropy to education reform in 10 U.S. communities. Today over 350 youth philanthropy programs exist in the U.S., and many have ties to and roots with YLI’s work through The Center for Training Research and Evaluation.