Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa

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Children are the persons who are going to carry on what we have started. They are going to sit where we are sitting, and when we are gone, attend to those things which we think are important. We may adopt all the policies we please, but how they are carried out, depends on them. The fate of humanity is in their hands.
Dr. Russell G. Mawby
Chairman Emeritus, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa's Teen Trust program is a model for youth philanthropy. Each year, a diverse group of students from area high schools allocate $10,000 to 501(c)(3) non-profit agencies in Black Hawk County. Using a grant application system, site visits, and training seminars, the Trustees work as a team to decide which organizations to assist through financial aid or volunteerism. The program began in 1994 and is directed by a local college student.

Teen Trust

Teen Trust was created with a vision in mind - to prepare youth to be "trustees of their community." And at the heart of becoming a trustee means finding a way for youth to learn about and also actively practice philanthropy. To that end, the mission by which the Teen Trust program operates is: To provide youth an opportunity to develop philanthropic behaviors, leadership and stewardship skills and volunteer experiences.

Teen Trust Project Goals

  • Nurture a cohesive, enthusiastic network of youth who are inspired to share their gifts of service with others.
  • Provide a learning environment in which youth are primarily responsible for the allocation of funds to support projects addressing community issues.
  • Promote innovative, practical solutions to community problems through youth as project developers.
  • Entrust youth with legitimate authority to decide and direct the future of their community.
  • Engage youth immediately as community trustees, acknowledging that they are currently active citizens, not just leaders of the future.

Teen Trust Accomplishments

  • Over $150,000 in grants to support local charitable projects since Teen Trust's inception
  • More than 300 local students trained in philanthropy and trusteeship
  • National recognition by the W.K.Kellogg Foundation as one of the most important grants they've made in their 75-year history (
  • Countless lives changed


Teen Trust is currently accepting grant requests. The deadline to submit a request is midnight (CST) December 16, 2015. Click here to find the grant guidelines and submit a grant application.