Essay contest

File photo of Indian American dancers performing during a T20 series cricket match at the Citi Field in New York on Nov. 7, 2015. The India Philanthropy Alliance has decided to sponsor a nationwide youth essay competition focused on the importance of philanthropy in general as well as donating to benefit India. (representational image/Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)

The India Philanthropy Alliance recently launched its Youth Essay Competition 2020 contest.

Several recent studies, including a recent one by Dalberg and Indiaspora, have shown that Indian Americans, while generous with volunteering their time, donate less than typical American families do, the alliance notes.

If donations reached par with the general population, it could result in an additional $2 billion going to charitable causes in the United States, India and elsewhere.

With that in mind, the alliance is planning to undertake multiple initiatives to grow the culture of philanthropy among the diaspora in the United States, with an emphasis on engaging the younger Indian Americans.

As a first step towards activating and nurturing the philanthropic impulse amongst second and third-generation Indian Americans, and others with affinity for India, the alliance has decided to sponsor a nationwide youth essay competition focused on the importance of philanthropy in general as well as donating to benefit India, according to the group’s website,

The hope, it said, is that this will generate many promising new ideas from young people about how to engage young people in philanthropy, including in effective philanthropy benefiting India.

The essays will be due June 1.

The Sarva Mangal Family Trust, supported by the Shah Family of Orange County and their company MS International Inc., has agreed to support this pilot through a generous donation and also by advising on and assisting in the entire process, according to the organization.

The competition will be available to youth in 2 cohorts based on whether they are in middle school or high school during the 2019-2020 academic year.

The top 10 essays in each age cohort, which will be selected by a panel of philanthropy experts selected by the alliance, will have their submissions published on the Internet, the site notes.

The authors of the best essay in each age group will be invited to the Indiaspora Philanthropy Summit to be held in New York City Oct. 2 to present their award-winning ideas.

Their travel expenses to the announcement event will be covered, and they will be able to direct at least $1,000 to the nonprofit of their choice. The winners will also be invited to help shape, organize, and determine the winners of future competitions, if and when they are held.

A complete guideline list can be found by visiting the website and clicking on “Essay Competition” in the Programs dropdown tab.

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