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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO – The 2022 Iowa Youth Philanthropy Conference was held Tuesday at the Marshalltown Community College campus in Dejardin Hall. The event, which was organized and sponsored by the Iowa Board of Foundations, drew groups of young philanthropists from across Iowa, and they posed for a photo just before taking a break for lunch.

The annual Iowa Youth Philanthropy Conference was held on the campus of Marshalltown Community College on Tuesday, and young people from across the state attended the event to learn more about philanthropy in Iowa.

The Iowa Council on Foundations (ICOF) organizes and sponsors the event each year in partnership with their planning committee foundations, and ICOF President Kari McCann Boutell was thrilled to once again host the in-person conference after taking time off in 2020 due to the pandemic. then going virtual in 2021.

McCann Boutell said this is the fifth time the conference has been held in Marshalltown, and each year they try to discuss what philanthropy entails, how it might manifest in different communities, and how philanthropy groups can identify the needs of the community and help in those areas.

This year, the conference focused on showing philanthropic groups how to use data and insights to make informed decisions about their grantmaking, and young philanthropists from six different counties, including Marshall, attended the one-day conference.

“It’s really like a statewide reach, and that’s another of the goals is that students can of course understand how their own youth philanthropy group works, but also understand some nuances and differences of youth philanthropy groups across the state, said McCann Boutell.

Throughout the conference, they ensured that the voices of student philanthropy groups were heard, so that projects other groups were working on could be shared and discussed.

uVoice, a Polk County student philanthropy group, shared a project they are working on regarding the intersection of racial injustice and youth health during the event, and they discussed how the needs assessment was conducted for their community.

“I think one thing that we’ve done a better job of over the years is really letting young people be the voice of the conference,” McCann Boutell said. “It helps students think in new ways about how they can support their community.”

McCann Boutell believes these annual conferences are important for a variety of reasons, and she felt it was a way to encourage not only youth philanthropy, but also future philanthropists. In a way, the conferences ensure that passionate young people will continue the work as they age and join the workforce.

“The reason (ICOF) supports youth philanthropy is because we know that students who participate in programs like this are more likely to become donors in the future, are more likely to engage in nonprofits and foundations in the future, and may even become staff members of those foundations,” McCann Boutell said. “I was actually a student of youth philanthropy myself, and all these years later, I work in philanthropy, so we really know that investing helps create the talent and leadership pipeline for nonprofits and philanthropy.”

Community foundations, private foundations, and family foundations from across Iowa serve on the conference planning committee and work hard to make it a success year after year. The Community Foundation of Marshall County (CFMC) is on the committee, and Executive Director Julie Hitchins was happy that Marshalltown could host the event.

“The Community Foundation of Marshall County is grateful that the Iowa Board of Foundations chose Marshalltown for the conference,” Hitchins wrote in an email. “(Students from the three Marshall County student philanthropy groups) gained valuable insight into different approaches to grantmaking, how to develop effective grantmaking guidelines, as well as understanding that student philanthropy programs may work differently, but we all have one common goal: to make the world a better place.

McCann Boutell said hosting the conference in Marshalltown worked well because it has a “very large philanthropic network” and is also located in a fairly central position.

Students from West Marshall’s LUCC (Leaders Uplifting the Community with Charity), East Marshall’s SEAL (Students Empowering And Leading) and Marshalltown’s STEP (Students Teaching and Empowering Philanthropy) all attended the event, along with six other philanthropic groups from young people across the state. .

The event ended in the late afternoon, but it surely left an impact on new and returning student philanthropists across Iowa.

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Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611

or [email protected]



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