Youth Advisory Committee (YAC)

What better way to invest in our community than to invest in our youth? Our Youth Advisory Committee has been a core part of the community foundation since the beginning. Youth from throughout Charlevoix County are selected to be members of this special committee and together they oversee grantmaking to causes that serve area youth. They meet several times a year to share their perspectives on local issues, survey their peers to set grantmaking priorities, advocate for youth needs, acquaint themselves with area resources and nonprofit organizations, and put philanthropy into action. This is a training ground for future philanthropic leaders, and an excellent place to learn the power of giving.


With income from their $1 million fund, they review and evaluate grant requests and select projects for the future. Over the years, our YAC has awarded more than $1 million in grants to benefit this area's children, teens, and families.  That's the power of endowment!

From L to R: Nathan Newman, Mailey Hamilton, Sarah Sterling, Eden Vrondran, Aubrie Sparks, Daniel Powers, Jayde Fazio, Anna Haf, Elsie Burton, Elisha Richards, Harper Blaauw-Hara, Brooklyn Fitzpatrick, Kate Klinger, Benjamin Lentz

Not pictured: Hannah Thumser, Paige Pemble

An important part of the grantmaking process is knowing the collective concerns of the age group that the YAC is representing. This is measured through a needs assessment survey that is conducted every three years in all of the local schools.

The needs assessment was recently conducted in February 2019 and was facilitated by the YAC through a short survey. It was given to 8th through 12th graders, totaling over 700 students, asking about their biggest concerns and where they are most positively influenced. These results are utilized as a tool to help the YAC weigh grant proposals that are submitted to the Youth Fund at each grant cycle.  The YAC share this information with the schools, grantees and the community.

Top 10 Survey Results