The Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN) is excited to announce a new initiative, the Foundation Board Incubator. The JTFN Foundation Board Incubator, funded by Laura Lauder and the Maimonides Fund, will establish up to 10 new deeply rooted Jewish teen foundations in major cities around the world by 2016. The JTFN Foundation Board Incubator will accept three cohorts and will work closely with each community, providing substantial educational and financial resources, for up to five years to ensure program sustainability.

Teen foundations bring together groups of 10 – 25 young people, ages 13-18, to serve as a “foundation board”. Community-based teen foundations attract teens with varying levels of Jewish engagement to work together to develop a mission, fundraise, evaluate grant proposals, and allocate real money for real change. At JTFN, we believe these group experiences with strategic philanthropy will both strengthen a teen’s engagement with Jewish life and ensure his or her commitment to lifelong giving, based on Jewish values.

While existing Jewish teen philanthropy programs employ a variety of methods and structures, best practices from the field have emerged and the Foundation Board Incubator seeks to utilize those learnings to create new programs, adding to the field of successful youth philanthropy programs. The incubator will focus on introducing programs that have the potential to grow to multiple boards in one city, that engage a diverse group of teens, and that will become ingrained in their communities.