ISO Individual Donors, Content Partnerships

D.C. Public Defender Angela Kennedy Acree (left) and Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy (right) – YMG board member and YMG volunteer, respectively – will co-host the fundraising event we’re planning in early 2023.

When it rains…

You know the saying and, indeed, Youthcast Media Group has had an outpouring of big grant and donation support lately, starting with a generous two-year extension and grant increase from the Sozosei Foundation September 1 and funding from others I’ll get back to.

While the downpour is most welcome, YMG, like most nonprofits, is always in need of more! For us, it’s to keep our virtual organization running — paying our very small staff of journalist-instructors, college interns (in journalism and operations!) and program administrators. That’s along with all the high school students who take our training and those who are our social media “creators,” plus the contract bookkeeper, curriculum developers and the very occasional non-pro-bono lawyers we need to make sure we’re doing everything right. 

That way, we can rest assured we’re doing our best to serve our growing number of diverse youth, teaching them reporting and writing, video, photo and social media skills and preparing them for college admissions and the workplace. 

Along with Sozosei, which funds our work (and TikTok account!) on mental health and the decriminalization of mental illness, we were recently awarded grants from the Jack R. Anderson Foundation for our work with the journalism classes at Banneker High School in Washington, D.C. and Annandale High School in Virginia and Chain Bridge Bank for the Annandale class specifically. Chain Bridge Bank Founder and Chairman, former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, R-Ill., also contributed individually, as did former Vermont Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, through the Vermont Community Foundation. 

All that’s while we have the generous continued support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), which has funded us since December 2020 and we hope to have as a partner for years to come. 

We’re also awaiting word on six pending “letters of interest” and grant proposals and just finalized another major proposal in October. In addition, we’re discussing paid (but independent) content partnerships with several organizations. 

As if that’s not enough, stay tuned for: 

  • Our email, social media and text fundraising campaign leading up to and after Giving Tuesday that will feature short video vignettes from some of our terrific high school students, college interns and/or alumni. Look for splashes every Tuesday! Remember – invest in futures! 
  • A first-quarter fundraising event in downtown D.C. co-hosted by volunteer Courtland Milloy, the Washington Post columnist and Board member Angela Kennedy Acree, a Staff Attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. We’ll show off our students’ multimedia work, introduce you to a few of them, and hopefully raise some money, too! We hope to have it at the American Public Health Association or Kaiser Family Foundation’s offices. 
  • A DC fundraising dinner event next year that’s one of my #goals! It would include a light roast — sauté, perhaps?— of a couple Washington policymakers (with senses of humor) and be co-hosted by students. I’ve been writing lines in my head for months and know who I want the headliners to be. I’ll report back when plans firm up. 

Want to know more about what your donation could fund? Well, donate $1,000 and you can cover four high school students’ stipends for the six-week reporting and writing workshop that leads to published articles — like the two-page spread on climate change in the Miami Herald in June or our recent story in The DC Line about methane gas pollution. For $20,000, you, your company or organization can underwrite the whole workshop on a health-related topic we mutually agree upon. 

And for amounts below and between those numbers, you can cover the cost of one student’s stipend for a grammatical, accurate and engaging TikTok post ($45); for a two-week Canva graphics/video bootcamp ($100); a two-week reporting bootcamp ($150) or to fund the whole reporting bootcamp: $7,500! 

For donations of more than $20,000, email me at jodonnell@youthcastmediagroup.org or call: 703-216-4538! I’ll make time!