Like all nonprofits, the work of community foundations is only made possible by the generosity of the donors and fund-holders who believe in each entity’s mission and the betterment of our communities. One of the biggest challenges of community foundations is to cultivate a sustainable future of giving, in particular, among younger generations of donors and funders. Engaging the next generation of philanthropists is of the utmost importance, not just for the future health of an organization, but for the community as a whole.

This is where Next Generation Philanthropy (after: Next Gen) comes in. Founded in 2014 by and for young professionals and emerging leaders living and working in the Fresno/Clovis community, Next Gen was established on the principle of these individuals collectively giving their time, talent, and treasure to make a larger impact. With support from the Central Valley Community Foundation, Next Gen is preparing for the future of charitable giving through their mission to become the premier training program for the next generation of board members, civic leaders, and community activists in the Central Valley.

Over the past three years, Next Gen’s member base has nearly tripled in size and has awarded over $60,000 in grants to eight nonprofits, including the downtown Fresno Partnership, the Freewheel Project, and Junior Achievement of Northern California. In order to determine where grant making will have the most impact, Next Gen members engage in an intensive, interactive program during each cohort’s 12-month timeline. Members hear from their peers and industry leaders about the gifts and talents in their community, learn firsthand about the biggest issues in and most difficult challenges facing Fresno County, and engage with each other in a supportive learning environment.

Next Gen members think critically in order to connect with others who are committed to social change. At the conclusion of Next Gen’s one-year program, the experience culminates in thoughtful and informed grant making in identified priority areas of the community.

Next Generation Philanthropy was founded by Justin Vartanian.

On why he started Next Gen: “I really saw the need for our generation to start giving back and really taking the baton from the baby boomers who have been so generously giving their time, talent, and treasure.”

The most recent Next Gen cohort awarded a total of $24,000 in grants to three nonprofits, each receiving $8,000: Valley Children’s Healthcare Foundation, Community Food Bank, and Fresno Barrios Unidos. The grant reception was held at the Central Valley Community Foundation on June 15, 2017. Check out some photos below!

The Community Food Bank received an $8,000 grant to support their Neighborhood Market and Mobile Pantry programs. These programs deliver fresh produce and other healthy food items to thousands of households in destitute areas of the Central Valley. This grant will become 100,000 pounds of fresh, delicious produce.

Fresno Barrios Unidos received an $8,000 grant to support their keystone male involvement program, El Joven Noble. El Joven Noble is a youth development, support, and leadership enhancement program aimed at male youth ages 12-24.

Valley Children’s Healthcare Foundation’s Adaptive Sports Program provides free recreational and athletic experiences for those with disabilities. The $8,000 grant from Next Generation Philanthropy will help pay for additional equipment for recreational activities, including an athletic wheelchair and life jackets.

The Central Valley Community Foundation is a proud partner and supporter of Next Generation Philanthropy. To learn more information about Next Generation Philanthropy, including how you can apply, please click here.

Interested in supporting the amazing work of these young philanthropists with a 100% tax-deductible donation? CLICK HERE to donate online, or mail a check or money order to:

Central Valley Community Foundation

c/o Next Generation Philanthropy Fund

5260 N. Palm Ave., Ste. 122

Fresno, CA 93704