NextGen, the philanthropy organization for teenage girls that is associated with Impact 100 Owensboro, has kicked off its membership drive. High school-aged girls may join until March 31.
Hoping to retain all of the members from previous years who have not graduated and adding more that are eligible, NextGen hopes to increase their grant giving for 2019.
“The organization’s goal has always been to engage young ladies with local nonprofit organizations to help create a philanthropic spirit of giving back to the community,” said Joy Carroll, NextGen board chair.
This year a recruiting committee was created and is comprised of up to three students from each high school whose challenge is to share information about NextGen with their classmates and to invite and recruit new members through those preexisting relationships.
Grace Bush, a senior at Apollo said she hopes to see the program continue to grow and is working with the NextGen board to expand the program to more girls.
“For any young girl, I encourage you to search for opportunities to join philanthropic organizations in your community,” Bush said.
She also hopes to see the number of Apollo members grow for the next membership class.
“This is in no way a competition between schools, but is about empowering these young ladies to share what they are a part of with others who will benefit from enjoying the same opportunities for philanthropic community involvement,” Carroll said.
Once the membership drive concludes, the recruitment committee will transition to being in charge of implementing social events and gatherings.
Another change for this year is that members of both Impact 100 organizations will be working together to increase the connection and cross-participation within both groups, hoping to provide mentor/mentee opportunities to connect the next generation of female leaders with the proven leaders of the community whose philanthropic endeavors have given nearly $3 million in grants since the start of Impact 100 Owensboro.
“It just makes so much sense to begin early implanting the idea of philanthropy and community service in the younger generation,” Carroll said. “That changes everything both now and in the future.”
In its third year of grant giving, current NextGen members and chairs hope to have more grant applicants from the community nonprofit organizations. Organizations that apply for an Impact 100 grant are still eligible to apply for a NextGen grant, and the more grants NextGen receives, the more the members learn about the community.
Carroll believes that knowledge is power and said that in many instances, NextGen members were unaware of several of the applicants or that the services they provided or hoped to provide were needed in Owensboro.
“It’s very eye-opening and leaves a big impression,” Carroll said. “Learning the life-changing power of empathy at a young age will only catapult and inspire these young ladies to continue to give back throughout their lives.”
Since NextGen membership tripled last year, the board is looking for larger spaces to hold learning sessions and grant reviews. They also recognize that members have busy schedules and are going digital with communication so that members who cannot make a meeting or event can get caught up, something Carroll said is a great opportunity.
One of the hallmark commitments of NextGen is having the members visit the nonprofit applicants on site visits to learn about the organization, Carroll said.
“For instance, last year, during site visits with some of our grant applicant organizations, many of the young ladies asked how they can become more closely and personally involved in the work of those agencies on their own time,” Carroll said. “They had become inspired by what they saw, and wanted to invest with their time, their energy, and their hearts in the work that they were doing in that organization.”
She said that this is why NextGen was created — to introduce the next generation of women in the community to learn and understand the work of our area nonprofits.
“I look forward to witnessing the impact of NextGen’s 2018 grants in the community,” Bush said.
Members of the community are always invited to sponsor a NextGen membership.
“We will never turn away any young lady who has a desire to become a part of what we are doing in and for our community,” Carroll said.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a NextGen member and any young lady who is interested in receiving a sponsorship can email or text or call Joy Carroll at 270-929-7896.
Although NextGen does not hold a grant writing workshop, all interested nonprofits are encouraged to attend the Impact 100 workshop on April 24 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Logsdon Center. Questions about grants will be answered as well as grant-writing training.
Any interested eighth grade through high school young lady can learn more and sign up to join NextGen by visiting the website or by email.
On Friday, March 15, a NextGen Membership social is being held in the private dining room at Bar Louie from 4:30-5:30 p.m.