Research, Data, & Reports

Indiana Youth Council Alumni Survey

Publication date: 
August, 2021
Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

This report summarizes Indiana youth council alumni data from the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance, in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Data were collected between 2014 and 2021, and the initial survey was completed during high school prior to youth participation in a youth council. The survey was longitudinal and collected data annually for the five years after youth graduated from the program. Youth participants were 18-23 years of age during the alumni survey data. Additional methodological details and results are included in the report appendix.

Key Findings

  • Participating in councils exposes youth to a range of philanthropic activities, resulting in initial increases in several forms of philanthropic activities.
  • Council participation appears to increase donor participation rates above and beyond initial self-selection. Specifically, youth participants donated below the national average initially (-3%), but increased over time to above the national average (+18%).
  • As youth are busier with college and launching careers, philanthropic participation across diverse and time-intensive forms of philanthropy appears to decline. However, activity becomes more concentrated in donating money, suggesting that youth council participation in formative development years establishes a commitment to philanthropy.

What is a youth council? Held within a community foundation, a youth council is typically made up of students from area high schools who are engaged in philanthropic service by supporting the work of the foundation through grantmaking and volunteerism. Youth council members assess community needs and have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, becoming contributors to the success of their community through the giving of time, talent, and treasure.