On a Tuesday evening in May, the Volunteer Committee, comprised of ambitious teens, gathers in the Resource Room at YC’s Westlake headquarters. They are working to figure out how to creatively and meaningfully support YC’s mission. Their recent focus was on ways to make fundraising efforts more effective.
Across the lobby, the Philanthropy Committee, a crew of current Board members and seasoned benefactors, ponders investment strategies related to endowment funds. All focus on driving the YC mission forward, emphasizing social justice, broad representation, and equity. YC has a modest endowment through the Cleveland Foundation. The Philanthropy Committee learned about an opportunity to diversify those investments in Socially Responsible and Racial Equity Funds through the Foundation.
Here is where two seemingly disparate worlds collide. What if the cash generated from the traditional fundraising efforts of the Volunteer Committee (car washes, bake sales, movie nights) contributed to the principal of the Socially Responsible and Racial Equity Funds? Volunteers raise money, then use the magic of compounded interest to grow funds that ultimately work to support the participants who call YC home.
Chris Pease, a financial professional and Philanthropy Committee member, wanders across the lobby into the Volunteer Committee meeting, launching into an impromptu financial literacy lesson for our teens. Volunteer Coordinator, Abbie Hair, guides this heat-seeking missile of philanthropic potential to an easy resting place – and the socially conscious teens respond affirmatively.
Through the July 21 Volunteer Committee Car Wash Fundraiser, the group raised $1,230 for the Endowment Fund, allowing participants to enjoy free programs and transportation for years to come.