Model FoundationModel Foundation

Program Description 

Model Foundation is an international summer program and grant competition on venture philanthropy and social innovation. Held in partnership with the Yale Center Beijing in 2017, Model Foundation convenes young leaders from around the world, providing them with the training, networks, and resources to support early-stage social ventures across Greater China.


Applicants selected into the program will form teams and work closely with China-based nonprofits and social enterprises to refine a pitch proposal, gaining a deep understanding of the organization’s work through the process. All participants will convene in the final week to select eight finalist organizations, while gaining access to social innovation workshops, trainings, and career building sessions delivered by high-level speakers and experts. Those teams representing finalist organizations will make strategic decisions on how to distribute a PIM fund of 20,000 USD.


Model Foundation is more than just a summer program or competition: participants are a part of building Asia’s first and only young people’s foundation. Over 100 young leaders from around the world will take concerted action together in supporting early-stage social ventures across greater China.


The priority application deadline is March 15, 2017. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until April 15. Apply here!



June 16 – August 9, 2017: Online Course and Due Diligence
Online Course & Pitch Design : 4-6 hours/week

As a participant, you will take a 6-module online course with curriculum materials specially developed by PIM, sourced from Yale, Stanford, The University of Hong Kong and leading foundations.  You will nominate or match with an early-stage social enterprise or non-profit in Greater China, refining a pitch proposal detailing the organization’s impact, sustainability and more, while gaining a deep understanding of their work through site visits and/or interviews. Pitches will be reviewed experts and the participants themselves.

August 9-13, 2017: International Philanthropy and Social Innovation Conference

5-Day Conference, Yale Center Beijing

A 5-day Philanthropy and Social Innovation Conference features guest speakers, interactive workshops, and career exploration. Participants will present their pitches and form committees of the foundation. Eight finalist organizations will be selected based on their potential for impact; participants representing those organizations will collectively make strategic decisions on how to manage a fund of 20,000 USD.


Post-August: Alumni Community

Following the program, you can continue to receive mentorship in addition to social impact career development opportunities through PIM.  As a community of 1,000+ worldwide, alumni spread the notion of effective philanthropy among their peers.


Download the Model Foundation 2017 Brochure in English or Chinese, and check out a video overview below of our past Model Foundation programs held at The University of Hong Kong.




Why Join?

Through Philanthropy in Motion (PIM)’s experiential curriculum and mentorship, young people develop the skills and networks to become effective changemakers and leaders in their communities.

  • Social Networks:  Gain access to high-level leaders, cutting-edge social organizations, and a community of young changemakers.
  • Crowdsourcing & Investment Opportunities: Leverage your skills to build the capacity of innovative social ventures across China. Compete to manage a fund of 20,000USD and make real impact.
  • Training and Career Mentorship: Receive mentorship for developing a career in social impact and innovation while gaining hands-on experience.
  • Social Impact Certificate: Receive a certificate of your social impact training and outcomes.





Eligibility and Program Tuition:

Participants will be selected through a competitive application process. Current university and graduate students as well as young professionals are encouraged to apply. Our participants in the past have come from 20+ schools from 7 countries across 15+ majors.

Successful applicants demonstrate:

  • Passion for social innovation and impact.
  • Intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness to new ideas.
  • Readiness to engage in discussion and debate.
  • Proficiency in English and Mandarin Chinese.

The priority deadline for applications is March 15, 2017.


Program Tuition Fee (not inclusive of accommodation, meals and flights):

  • Individuals: 650 USD
  • Teams (2-4 people): 585 USD per person (10% discount)

Tuition covers the following:

  • Pre-conference training through online lessons
  • Matching with local social enterprise
  • 5-day international philanthropy conference
  • Career panel with networking opportunities
  • Continued access to social impact opportunities through alumni network

Please visit for a listing of scholarships and fellowships.




Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t hesitate to reach out with additional questions at


Q: I may not be able to commit to 4 hours per week to the online course in June and July. Will it limit my ability to participate in the international training conference?

The online modules are specifically designed to support you in developing personal and professional skills, providing you with tools and skills such as impact evaluation, pitch design, and more.

Additionally, participants will advocate on behalf of early-stage organizations that stand to benefit significantly from the funding and capacity building opportunities Model Foundation offers. Only those teams that successfully complete the online portion – including site visits and/or video interviews with an organization — will be eligible to participate in the offline conference.


Q: Can I nominate a non-profit organization or social enterprise to participate?

Yes! During the online course, we welcome you to nominate and advocate on behalf of any early-stage social organization, project or social enterprise. Don’t have an organization in mind? No problem. We will carefully pair participants with innovative organizations working across Greater China.


Q: Do I have to have a team to join, or can I sign-up on my own?

We recommend you sign up with a team as the competition is designed for teams of two to four. However, we welcome applications from individuals and will pair you with other individual participants based on location and fields of interest.


Q: What does the program fee cover?

Tuition covers the following:

  • Pre-conference training through online lessons
  • Matching with local social enterprise
  • 5-day international philanthropy conference
  • Career panel with networking opportunities
  • Continued access to social impact opportunities through alumni network

Please note that all participants will gain access to high-level training, networking and social impact opportunities at the philanthropy conference. Teams representing organizations selected as finalists – based on their potential for impact — will be selected for the decision-making grant committee.


Q: How are finalist teams selected to be a part of the grantmaking committee?

Participant-created pitches  for each organization will be reviewed by participants and a panel of judges. Modeling a typical grantmaking process, organizations will be evaluated using an assessment framework designed in partnership with the University of Hong Kong and Ford Foundation. Judges will also take into account the quality of the pitch proposal created by participants. Up to eight finalist organizations will be selected to advance, represented by their participant teams on the final decision-making committee at the philanthropy conference in Beijing.