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Last year 56 schools collected $76,000 You can see the list of organizations that received all that money in grants from last year's schools and every school since 2007 - here!

And 2013-14 Service Projects - here!

"The Penny Harvest taught me that it is sometimes hard to stand up for what you think is right” Leroy Drive Elementary Student, Age 9

"My favorite part of the Penny Harvest was seeing all the smiles from the school and laughter. The Penny Harvest really lighted my heart up. I feel super happy. - Frederick Elementary Student, Age 10

The Penny Harvest is not a fundraiser- it is a FREE, school-based citizenship and leadership service-learning program that integrates with the school calendar.  Students harvest “idle pennies” from family and friends, use those funds to make microgrants to nonprofit organizations, and participate in corresponding service projects. Unlike other coin harvesting programs, Penny Harvest gives students total autonomy to decide where the money should go.

Through this character-building experience, students learn the importance of civic engagement, philanthropy and teamwork and develop a greater understanding of their classmates, their school and their community, as well as the needs of others around them.

Click here to apply online for the 2015-2016 year

"I learned that if we work together, we can do the unthinkable during the Penny Harvest" - Peakview Elementary Student

"My favorite part of the Penny Harvest was the interviewing, because it was fun making adults think!" - Dalton Elementary Student, Age 10

Penny Harvest has four main phases:

Harvest Pennies (October – December)
Make Grants (January – April)
Service (April – June)

Penny Harvest 2014-15 Year- Timeline Here

Participation Criteria:

The Young Philanthropists Foundation uses the following criteria for consideration of prospective schools:

  • Must be a K-12, Public or Private School in the State of Colorado, or a community-based organization that offers a leadership group of students between the grades of K-12.  Students must meet on a regular basis, throughout the length of the school year.
  • Must agree to participate in the full program, running from September 2013-May 2014, completing all four phases.
  • Show an interest in philanthropy and service learning, and demonstrate a commitment to community partnerships.
  • Sign a participation agreement stating your administration and coaches understand the responsibilities or participation in the Penny Harvest program.

Benefits include: 

  • Optional Curriculum geared towards K-8 that meets State Education Standards,
    Service Learning and Character Development
  • Personal Financial Literacy curriculum supplement
  • Foundations and Philanthropy curriculum supplement
  • Enhanced school community and culture
  • Increased parental involvement in the school
  • Incredible student outcomes

"The Penny Harvest taught me that I can make a difference, no matter my age" - Mammoth Heights Elementary Student, Age 12

"The Penny Harvest taught me that if I put my mind and heart into something, the outcome is outstanding" - North High School Student, Age 18

Penny Harvest History

The Penny Harvest was created in 1991 out of one child’s desire to help the homeless. Since its inception it has grown to include more than 500,000 students in 900 schools in New York, Washington, Florida, Ohio and Colorado. In the past 23 years, Penny Harvest students have given away more than $10.5 Million to nonprofits and contributed more than half a million service hours to their local communities. The Penny Harvest has even been featured on the Oprah Winfrey show, as it was the inspiration behind Oprah's Angel Network

The Penny Harvest was adopted as the flagship program for the Young Philanthropists Foundation in 2007, beginning on a small scale as it ran in only 14 schools. Since then, Penny Harvest runs in 11 school districts, with 60 schools participating in the program. Throughout the years, Penny Harvest students have granted over $500,000 back to the Colorado community, with micro grants given to 189 nonprofit organizations just this last year!

Since 1991, children between the ages of four and fourteen have been converting their natural compassion for others into action by collecting pennies and turning those pennies into grants for community organizations. The Penny Harvest shows young people they have the ability to change the world by introducing them to the power of philanthropy and service during their formative years. As children help others they develop their generosity and moral character, and they learn through practice the skills and responsibilities of democratic participation.

For more information, contact Alexandra Beard at (303) 912-9527 or alexandra@ypfoundation.org.

The Colorado Penny Harvest is administered by the 

Young Philanthropists Foundation in coordination with
Common Cents New York, Inc., creators of the program.