Why buy Y?
New not-for-profit set to revolutionise traditional charity model.
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.