Why buy Y?

New not-for-profit set to rev­o­lu­tionise tra­di­tional char­ity model.

Element - - LIFE STYLE - On­line http://www.yfory­outh.orghttp://www.face­book.com/YforYOUT Check out how Y for Youth works at el­e­ment­magazine.co.nz/el­e­men­t_­movies/yfor-youth

Yfor YOUTH is a new model of char­ity with the goal of be­ing a cat­a­lyst in re­duc­ing New Zealand’s youth sui­cide rates by cre­at­ing sus­tained fund­ing for youth or­gan­i­sa­tions around the coun­try. New Zealand has some of the worst youth so­cial is­sues in the devel­oped world. With 25% youth un­em­ploy­ment and ex­treme bul­ly­ing cul­ture, many of New Zealand youth are vul­ner­a­ble. Ac­cord­ing to the re­cent an­nual sui­cide statis­tics re­leased by the Chief Coro­ner, sui­cides in the 15 to 19 yearold age group in­creased by 40% in the last year.

“Clearly what we are do­ing now isn’t work­ing any longer and a new model of char­ity is needed to ad­dress the is­sues our young peo­ple face,” says Alex Greig, the founder of Y for YOUTH and life­long en­tre­pre­neur. “It was 15 years ago when I no­ticed the shock­ing youth sui­cide statis­tics, so ever since then I was mo­ti­vated to help youth and come up with a way to make the lives of our fu­ture gen­er­a­tion bet­ter,” says Alex.

There are more than 6000 char­i­ties reg­is­tered as ben­e­fit­ing youth in New Zealand and while sub­stan­tial re­sources are ded­i­cated to fundrais­ing many are op­er­at­ing in sur­vival mode.

Th­ese in­sights in­flu­enced Alex to de­velop a new fund­ing model which aims to gen­er­ate sus­tained fund­ing as an alternative to un­re­li­able grants and pub­lic do­na­tions.

The model works by busi­nesses con­tribut­ing a per­cent­age of their prof­its to Y for YOUTH, 100% of which goes to youth or­gan­i­sa­tions. In re­turn com­pa­nies can dis­play the Y for YOUTH trade­mark on their prod­ucts, sim­i­lar to Fair Trade or the Heart Foun­da­tion tick brand­ing model.

Lara Jane, co-founder of Y for YOUTH says that to­day more than ever, con­sumers want to buy from com­pa­nies that give back to our com­mu­ni­ties.

“We have devel­oped a sys­tem that al­lows them to do this, but in such a way that com­pa­nies ben­e­fit from in­creased sales, pos­i­tive pub­lic­ity, and im­proved brand im­age. It’s a win-win.”

“There are hun­dreds of amaz­ing youth or­gan­i­sa­tions around the coun­try, how­ever for many it is im­pos­si­ble to ex­pand and im­pact more youth as they don’t even know if they are get­ting paid next month. We want to change that,” says Lara Jane. Y for YOUTH is still in the devel­op­ment stage and tak­ing ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from po­ten­tial Y com­pa­nies.

In ad­di­tion, Y for YOUTH is also seek­ing 100 Found­ing An­gels to as­sist build­ing the core or­gan­i­sa­tion. Michael Mayell, founder of Cookie Time Ltd, joined Y for YOUTH as Found­ing An­gel num­ber two, and says that be­ing a good cor­po­rate cit­i­zen nowa­days is ta­ble stakes. “Ev­ery­one has to do it. It’s not a choice, com­pa­nies not only have to be so­cially re­spon­si­ble, but they have to show they are.”

Other com­pa­nies to also come on board as Found­ing An­gels in­clude GPS tech­nol­ogy com­pany Nav­man Wire­less, Black­smith Ltd, mu­si­cian Tiki Taane and Short­land Street ac­tress Amanda Billing.

Tike Taane is one of the first Y for Youth found­ing an­gels. Photo: John Borren. Be­low: Y for Youth founder Alex Greig and Cookie

Time founder Michael Mayell.

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