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Youth Philanthropy Council needs grant proposals from nonprofits

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Nonprofit agencies within Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties have until Dec. 10 to apply for funds through the Northern New York Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council.

The Community Foundation’s board of directors committed $7,500 for the council, and Watertown Savings Bank supplemented that with $2,500, for a total grant pool of $10,000.

“Each of us brought up an idea that we thought would be a worthy cause to help,” said Meghan A. L’Huillier, Youth Philanthropy Council chairwoman. “Now we’ll wait for proposals to come in. What we tried to do in the past was get critical need, and then enrichment.”

Miss L’Huillier, 17, a senior at Watertown High School, said the council had only $5,000 to work with when it was established in 2010.

“In the beginning, we tried to make the biggest influence with the smallest amount of money, but now we could give bigger grants for bigger projects,” she said. “As a group, we are extremely excited for this year.”

While grant applications are due in three weeks, the council won’t make funding recommendations to the foundation’s board until March. Foundation Executive Director Rande S. Richardson said the board felt more time was needed to review proposals.

The 18-member council previously had just over a month to review applications.

Mr. Richardson said the Youth Philanthropy Council began as a pilot program within Watertown High School, and now that there is a smooth process, the council may expand to include St. Lawrence County. The agency already is working with some interested donors to establish a St. Lawrence County-based youth philanthropy council next fall.

“We started in 2008 in St. Lawrence County to see the interest in donors of our mission, and now we need to reciprocate that,” Mr. Richardson said.

Miss L’Huillier said participating in the council has been a rewarding high school experience.

“It gives young people in high school the ability to see the community in a different way,” she said.

Grant proposals should include a general description of the organization and project, and amount requested. Finalists will be asked to make a brief presentation to the council.

For more information, or to apply, organization representatives can call Mr. Richardson at 782-7110.

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