2016 Model Foundation: A Participant’s Perspective
Contributed by Jinglun Zhang, 2016 Model Foundation Participant
How would you improve the world with $20,000? How could you use it effectively to create social impact?
This August, 27 young people from all around the world gathered in Beijing to answer this question at Model Foundation 2016. Together, we embarked on a journey to investigate different social organizations, interview philanthropists and changemakers, and find the best way to make the biggest impact.
Model Foundation is China’s first and only “young people’s foundation” and where millennials can practice strategic philanthropy and support impactful social organizations in China with a 20,000 USD fund. With the belief that everyone can be a philanthropist, PIM has given me the knowledge and tools to evaluate NGOs/social enterprises and identify how to best support their missions.
In 2016, we had 9 NGOs/social enterprises competing for the $20,000 grant, with missions ranging from forest restoration to fashion upcycling. After an intensive 6-week process, my fellow grant committee officers and I decided to support Education in Sight, dedicated to improving the eyesight of rural children, and Xixi Garden, committed to providing comprehensive sexual education to migrant children.
For me personally, Model Foundation was an incredible opportunity to translate my own philanthropic aspirations into shared collective action.
After discussing missions and doing value prioritization in small groups, we reconvened to reach a general consensus on what our Model Foundation this year should stand for.
We conducted two rounds of interviews with participating NGOs to learn more about their team, budget, operating models, programming, and more.
In the Design Thinking workshop, we thought about how to best design an organization or project with the target demographic in mind.
The deliberations process involved two rounds of comprehensive discussion on our finalist organizations, based on their sustainability, proposal, and more.
Exploring how to leverage innovation for impact in our closing conference. The “Scaling Impact through Technology” panel featured Dina Yang, Deputy Director at the Gates Foundation; Liu Shutong, Founder of MotionECO; Tyler Lyman, CEO of MicroBenefits; and Stuart Oda, Founder of Alesca Life Techonologies.
After the deliberations, we attended the two-day Innovation for Impact summit, which brought together leaders from the tech, business, and social sectors to discuss the latest in social impact thinking.
Presenting awards to the founders of our two finalist organizations, Education in Sight and XiXi Garden.
In the end, we awarded this year’s Model Foundation grant to two organizations, both involved in assisting disadvantaged youth.
Model Foundation 2016!