Gen Z’s Role in Philanthropy

The aftermath of the COVID pandemic continues to inspire people at home to give back to communities.

Gen Z’s Role in Philanthropy (Getty Images)

California; HaywardGiving back in times of need has always been a huge part of rebuilding and enhancing communities. The Associated Press covered the role of Gen Z’s philanthropic contributions.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Kate Nelson found herself back in western Massachusetts, her plans for a career in stand-up comedy and theater abruptly halted. Amidst this uncertainty, her older brother roped her into a grassroots initiative: sourcing food from farms to supply food banks. This endeavor burgeoned into the Farmlink Project, marshaling the idle time of 600 college seniors to create a significant nonprofit that swiftly responded to the surging demand at food banks.

Similarly, Jahnavi Rao's New Voters, initially conceived to bolster voter registration drives among high school students, gained traction during the pandemic-induced downtime. With over 300 Gen Z interns across 400 high schools, the charity's impact soared.

Mary Zhu and Amay Aggarwal seized the moment by launching Develop for Good, matching computer science students seeking experience with charities in need of tech assistance. Their brainchild now boasts 1,500 student applicants competing for volunteer positions.

Sam Underhill's journey from discovering a fellowship opportunity in his high school's junk folder to founding ActivateGenZ underscores the haphazard nature of accessing such opportunities. His nonprofit aggregates civic and government internships, aiming to bridge the gap between eager volunteers and available roles.

However, not all initiatives are met with applause. Shai Dromi, a Harvard sociology lecturer, advises against hastily forming new charities, advocating instead for gaining experience within established organizations before venturing out.

Ricardo Ramos, who pieced together scholarships worth $78,000 for his education, recognized the lack of support for students navigating the college application process. Thus, he founded Gracias to assist students, particularly in Hispanic communities, with college preparation.

While these endeavors reflect Gen Z's enterprising spirit and eagerness for meaningful engagement, they also highlight the need for strategic guidance and collaboration. Some, like Nelson, found themselves returning to their passion projects after brief detours, drawn back by a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

The pandemic prompted Gen Z's philanthropic endeavors, unleashing a wave of creativity and innovation. Yet, as they navigate this terrain, the importance of mentorship, strategic planning, and collaboration cannot be overstated. These initiatives, fueled by passion and commitment, are not only reshaping communities but also empowering a generation to effect positive change.

Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.

Edited by Nykeya Woods

Support the Next Generation of Content Creators
Invest in the diverse voices that will shape and lead the future of journalism and art.
donate now
Support the Next Generation of Content Creators
Invest in the diverse voices that will shape and lead the future of journalism and art.
donate now