Applications for Year 1 are accepted each year during the month of May through our website. Each applicant also participates in an interview with Teen Board leadership. The selection process is competitive, as there are typically 2-3 times the number of applicants as spots available. Priority is given to those teens who are less engaged in other Jewish programming and for those who are truly passionate about philanthropy and social impact work. Teen Board staff work to select a diverse membership for each cohort.
The first half of the year is spent focusing on interactive learning to give Teen Board members the knowledge and skill needed to evaluate grant proposals, participate in site visits, and utilize a consensus process to make funding decisions.
The second half of the year is devoted to actively reviewing grant proposals, participating in site visits and working together to select projects to fund. The experience culminates in a Grant Celebration at the end of the year where the Teen Board reflects on their experience and publicly acknowledges the organizations which have received funding.
For Teen Board members wishing to continue their experience, many choose to enroll in “Year 2”. This is also a school year length experience, and will meet on the same dates as the Year 1 program. The Year 2 program allows Teen Board members to participate in a second year of grantmaking, while also following up on the grants provided during their Year 1 experience. This allows for discussions and learning related to evaluation and program impact, as well as a deeper dive into a variety of grantmaking and philanthropy topics to further solidify board members’ knowledge and connection to their community and the impact which they can have.
All participants who have successfully completed Year 1 are welcome to sign up to participate in the Year 2 experience.
The Teen Board Leadership Committee is comprised of 6 teens who have completed a minimum of Year 1 (and preferably Year 2 as well). Interested Teen Board members apply for Leadership Committee (LC) positions, are interviewed by the Teen Board coordinator and selected based on their past involvement in the Teen Board as well as their potential to be a positive mentor to incoming Teen Board members. A new LC is selected each year.
The Leadership Committee is expected to attend all Teen Board Meetings (Fall Retreat and Monthly meetings), as well as a monthly Leadership Committee (LC) Planning Meeting to help plan the curriculum and activities for the Teen Board meeting. Responsibilities include: meeting facilitation, a small amount of extra research, mentoring first year committee members, attendance at site visits, and potential speaking engagements to represent The Jewish Fund Teen Board.
Once a Teen Board member is no longer participating in a school year length experience, they are considered “Alumni”. During the year, Alumni are invited to connect with the Teen Board both as mentors to newer members as well as in ways that further their own philanthropy experiences.
The Jewish Fund is proud to have received a grant from The Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation to support opportunities for Teen Board Alumni. Due to this generous funding, The Teen Board is able to offer our Alumni opportunities to attend philanthropic conferences and learning programs at no or a reduced cost and/or paid non-profit internship experiences. The goal of this project is to extend the learning of the Teen Board and expose our alumni to the wider world of philanthropy and community engagement.
As a part of the Alumni Opportunity program, the Jewish Fund Teen Board is able to provide internship opportunities for its current or former members. After filling out a form with what they are looking for in the internship, the teen will be placed at a non-profit in the Metro Detroit area. At these internships, the teens will have the opportunity to learn about the organization that they are working for, while gaining experience and performing meaningful work in our community. Please contact Martha if you have any questions.
Participating organizations change each year
Philanthropic Conferences & Learning Programs
An additional opportunity for Teen Board alumni to continue their philanthropic education is through attendance at professional conferences or learning programs. By providing stipends to help cover costs of participation, The Jewish Fund seeks to continue Teen Board engagement in order to further solidify their life-long interest and involvement in improving the community/world. To qualify for funding, programs/conferences should link to one or more of the following areas:
- Content related to philanthropy, community impact and/or grantmaking
- Content or focus on Heath & Wellness topics (aligning with the funding priorities of The Jewish Fund)
- Metro Detroit focus