Model Foundation

How will you make a difference with $20,000 USD?

Model Foundation is an international program on venture philanthropy and social innovation in China, designed to transform rising leaders into highly-effective changemakers.

Submit an Application

How it Works

  • Develop skills

    Through hands-on workshops and training, learn directly from cross-sector leaders and social entrepreneurs to build skills in human-centered design, social entrepreneurship, evaluation, due diligence, and more.

  • Immerse yourself in an early-stage social venture

    Match with an innovative early-stage social organization working across Beijing and Greater China. Use PIM’s tools to create an investment pitch through site visits and interviews with organization leaders.

  • Build an international network

    Join a 10-day international philanthropy conference with emerging leaders equally dedicated to making the world a better place, featuring guest speakers, workshops, and career exploration. Learn to communicate effectively and build common ground in a uniquely cross-cultural environment.

  • Make a difference

    Teams will manage a fund of $20,000USD and collectively decide on how to support the portfolio of high-potential social ventures. Develop knowledge to give back as a recognized social impact leader.

  • Grow the movement

    Following the program, you continue to receive mentorship in addition to social impact career development opportunities through PIM, an internationally- recognized hub for social impact in Asia. As a community, alumni spread the notion of effective philanthropy among their peers across the globe.


Model Foundation

  • Change

  • Be Changed

  • Drive Investment

    Move ideas to action by investing $20,000USD in an early-stage social venture you deem most impactful.

  • Gain International Networks

    Gain access to high-level leaders, cutting-edge social organizations, and a global community of young changemakers. Learn to communicate and build common ground in a uniquely cross-cultural environment.

  • Promote Innovation

    Promote social innovation in China’s high-potential social sector by raising the profile of innovative organizations on a global scale.

  • Develop Cross-Sector Skills

    Receive mentorship for developing a career in social impact and innovation, while gaining hands-on experience using cross-sector skills.

  • Lead Engagement

    Our generation’s entrepreneurial spirit and drive to make a difference will change the world. Lead your peers by making real impact now.

  • Social Impact Certificate

    As a member of Asia’s first and only young people’s foundation, earn a certificate recognizing your social impact skills, training and potential.

Mentors and Speakers


Organization Partners

Read about our partners

“Last summer I met a group of talented, aspiring and responsible young changemakers. We collaborated to comprehensively assess non-profit projects in China and finally delegate a fund of USD 20k to the most promising ones. Different from my finance background, Model Foundation provided me with a brand new perspective to think about social issues and my career path. After a systematic study about philanthropy and face-to-face meetings with all participants, I believe more than firmly in the prospect of leveraging business methods for scalable social innovation. Thanks PIM for this wonderful experience and I hope more people can join in this endeavor!"

Eaffi You

University of International Business and Economics '17

“Before PIM's Model Foundation, philanthropy seemed a bit strange to me. I used to confuse charity with philanthropy, which actually offers more than merely donating money and time. Rather than simply giving money to those in need, philanthropic organizations offer them ways to be better off and this new kind of thinking benefits the society as a whole. By engaging young people in the decision making process, the program educates us how philanthropy can work under the new era and how to make an impact through collective efforts. PIM's model foundation has reshaped my ideas and view towards philanthropy and I would consider it when deciding my career path.”

Alison Weng

University of Auckland '18

“PIM connected me with people at the forefront of China's social sector and inspired me to start a China-focused social impact initiative at Princeton. The people I met at Model Foundation are some of the brightest, most passionate young people I have ever come across - it's amazing to have them as a support network.”

Vera Lummis

Princeton University '17

"Through Model Foundation, I gained a systematic understanding of the philanthropic sector as well as its newest innovative developments. This program model really engenders you with a strong sense of participation. As a Model Foundation member, I evaluated organizations with my peers, comparing their different principles and standards, and were altogether fully responsible for the final funding decision. Being able to affect public welfare and help organizations achieve their mission made me realize the full extent of the responsibility on our shoulders as part of this endeavor."

Ally Luo

Hong Kong University '19

"Model Foundation is an excellent platform for evaluating and understanding the development of Chinese NGOs from a perspective of a foundation. I had the privilege of gaining insight into the development of a local NGO in China and securing funding for them. While researching their work, I was deeply moved and impressed by their mission and work, and became a fully-fledge volunteer for the organization afterwards. I truly believe that Model Foundation can let young people better understand the development of Chinese NGOs, and as a result, make China better, together."

Chuqi Yan

Shanghai Jiao Tong University/Cornell '18

Inside the Program

  • Learn the Foundations


    Build skills through a world-class curriculum developed by PIM with materials sourced from Yale, Stanford, the University of Hong Kong, and leading foundations.

  • Engage through Practice

    Program: Aug 6 - 12

    Join workshops led by high-level mentors and trainers.Through immersive site visits & interviews with organization founders, apply a due diligence framework and develop an investment pitch for a social organization.

  • Make a Difference


    As delegates of an international philanthropy conference, sit on the grantmaking committee of a venture philanthropy fund and decide how to allocate the $20,000 USD grant.


Participants will be selected through a competitive application process. Aspiring changemaker; campus student leader; early-stage entrepreneur; impact intrepreneur; community builder; nonprofit and CSR professionals under 30 years old are encouraged to apply.

Successful applicants demonstrate:

  • Highly-motivated young people in possession of innovative and open mindset, willing to connect with peers from all regions of the world
  • Track record of creating, spreading and leading solutions to pressing social challenges, be it through entrepreneurship, policy, student clubs, volunteer work, or others.
  • High proficiency in English with the ability to engage in complex discussions (program is entirely English-based)

How to Apply

Priority Deadline: April 18; Final Deadline: May 18