Teaching the Art, Science and Business of Philanthropy to the Next Generation


The mission of the Three Pillars Initiative is to establish, in partnership with community, family and private foundations across the country, youth education and leadership development programs which teach the art, science and business of philanthropy using the new learning paradigm of the Three Pillars of Philanthropy: Creating Community Impact, Vitalizing Donor Engagement and Building Strategic Volunteerism.

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 1.41.58 PM.png

A Unique Program Design


✓ A permanent endowment fund to provide for program self-sufficiency
✓ Student participants who are formally accepted for admission into the program
✓ Robust curriculum and instructional materials focused on experiential learning
✓ Adult community volunteers who serve as mentors and who deliver the program
✓ A College Program providing financial support for the students’ civic activities
✓ An Alumni Program that inspires and supports their ongoing leadership roles





Using a robust curriculum, lesson plans and experiential learning activities, students raise money and grant money while carrying out uniquely-designed volunteer strategies.


Providing continuing educational resources and financial assistance, students extend their engagement in community philanthropy activities while earning their academic degree.


Ensuring continued access to professional-level educational and leadership development resources, these young adults join a peer network of philanthropic leaders

 Introducing the New Learning Paradigm

Three Pillars of Philanthropy


Hear What High School, College and Alumni Network Participants Say
About the Original Three Pillars Model, the Future Philanthropists Program (FPP)
Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation.


Benefits to Community Foundations

✓ Attracts New Donors
✓ Builds Permanent Assets
✓ Provides Additional Grants Funding
✓ Covers its Own Operating Costs
✓ Requires Minimum Staff Time

Learn More

Screen Shot 2019-01-15 at 7.29.37 PM.png

Partnering with Foundations

The Three Pillars Initiative program model was designed for implementation by grant making foundations specifically community foundations, family foundations and private foundations. There are numerous opportunities for foundations to partner with each other to establish a program through their collaborative efforts.

Learn more

Screen Shot 2019-01-15 at 7.29.37 PM.png

Program Feasibility and Your Stakeholders 


Establishing the Three Pillars Initiative program model through your community foundation is dependent on the collaboration and support of key community stakeholders.

✓ Your Board of Directors
✓ Initial Donor-Investors
✓ Local Nonprofit Organizations
✓ High School Advisors
✓ Volunteer Mentors
✓ Program Coordinator
✓ Host Facility

Together, these stakeholders represent the necessary combination of resources that enable both the implementation and the sustainability of the program. Initial conversations with each of the stakeholders, along with our guidance and consultation, will provide you with the information needed to determine the feasibility of launching a program in your community.

In 2018, the senior cohort raised a total of $121,000 net of expenses!

“It seems very comprehensive and I really like the continuum of programming through generational opportunities…I’m confident this program will have great philanthropic outcomes for decades!”

– Kaye Englin, President and CEO, Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 1.41.58 PM.png

Find Us On Social Media