How Young Professionals are Changing the Definition of Philanthropy

No One Way To Give Back:  How YPs are Changing the Definition of Philanthropy

By: Angela Criser, CFO at 3fold Communications and Co-Chair of the United Way California Capital Region Emerging Leaders Communications Committee

I love seeing the might of the YP gaining recognition. Every month, article after article touts our collective power and calls for communities to look at the economic and cultural considerations we care about to make changes that would inspire us to move to, work for, or invest in their cities and businesses.

However, while today’s young professionals are often painted as a vibrant, passionate group, too often we’re also grouped together as a single entity with a singular perspective, voice and way of doing things. We are the “YP.”

But one of the single most defining traits of this YP generation is our unabashed, wildly polarized differences—and acceptance of those differences—from each other. This spectrum of creativity, ambition and flexibility allows us to find opportunity in new and unexplored places. One of these areas is in the variety of ways YPs give back to their communities.

Anyone can write a check (and should continue to do so if they can). However, we are not limited to monetary donations.

Young professionals nationwide—and right here in our own backyard—are creating new and interesting approaches to philanthropy everyday. Whether they’re finding ways to help their organizations better target charitable dollars to move the dial on a single issue, creating grassroots volunteer projects at their places of work, using technology to help and educate their communities, or putting together a social sports league that also volunteers and donates to local nonprofits, the ways and means of giving back in this region are plentiful.

The United Way California Capital Region’s Emerging Leaders program  is another approach. The Emerging Leaders strive to pull together philanthropic-minded YPs and harness their collective power for bigger impact, while allowing  them to contribute in the ways that best suit their interests. This is the reason I personally joined the group. This is also why the Emerging  Leaders are bringing together a panel of some of Sacramento’s most philanthropic YPs to examine why and how they are blending careers and community involvement.

This breakout session, titled “Change Makers: How Young Professionals Can Create Community Impact,” is part of this year’s EMERGE Summit on March 21. It will be an opportunity for conversation around a variety perspectives and approaches to charitable giving and community enhancement. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions, contribute their thoughts on the topic, and, hopefully, leave inspired to make their own philanthropic  paths in the community.

Join us at EMERGE on Friday, March 21, 2014 for one of the two session times Emerging Leaders will hold this panel discussion: 1:50 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. Both sessions will take place at Boys and Girls Club of Sacramento, in the Raley Teen Center gym located at 1117 G Street in Sacramento.