Next Generation Philanthropy

Board members featured in Quest Magazine feature

From: Quest Magazine April 2021

See online issue of Quest Magazine April 2021 for full article featuring additional young philanthropists such as Katherine Schwarzenegger, Gillian Hearst, Ashley Brown and Sarah Hoover.

What inspired you to establish the Corey C. Griffin foundation?

Our brother Corey passed away in a tragic accident when he was 27 years old. It’s hard to believe that it was 6 years ago that our family and friends established the Foundation born in his name to honor his philanthropic spirit and accomplishments, and to continue his efforts to improve the lives of underprivileged and underserved children. Corey was incredibly gifted at connecting people to meaningful causes, so there was no question that we would continue the philanthropic work that he started: improving the lives of children in need. The Corey C. Griffin Foundation is a 501c3 public charity. We’ve been blessed to positively change the trajectory of the lives of thousands of children through our programs that focus on education, leadership development, and medical challenges. We lovingly refer to all the children we have the privilege of working with as “Corey’s Kids,” and our outreach to them is rooted in the belief that every child should have the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their circumstances. Among our many initiatives, we are working with Boston Children’s Hospital to build the Corey Griffin House. This initiative will provide housing for families of children undergoing treatment to alleviate financial burdens and keep families together during challenging times. We’re proud to be the leading, area organization that is inspiring philanthropy in next generation leaders. Collectively, we are turning passion into impact and providing solutions for underprivileged kids greater than we ever could do individually.

What are your specific roles within the foundation today?

We both serve on the Board of Directors and get involved in all aspects of the Foundation. Each of us has a leadership role in our largest events. For Mike, that is the annual Boston Winter Ball, a 1,000-person black tie bash for young professionals. This winter was the unlucky 13th year of the event, but even virtually we are so excited to have raised $1.5 million for Corey’s Kids. Casey’s primary focus is on CoreyFest – a country concert that raises close to a million dollars annually and has featured big name artists such as Old Dominion, Lee Brice, Chris Young, Cole Swindell and others. Not only do these events get young professionals engaged in experiential philanthropy and in helping kids in need, but they’ve become must-attend events on the Boston social calendar. We also help with the marketing of our Foundation branded logo-wear. We’ve seen our hats everywhere around the world! Supporters often post #CCGwithMe to show us how far the foundation has spread – we have even seen hats in Tibetan villages, up the Ganges River, and in – it’s impressive! Since we started selling them in 2015, over $100,000 worth of CG hats have spread across the globe, worn primarily by young professionals and showing the world that this generation is committed to supporting good causes.

How has the pandemic shifted your goals/focus in the past year?

The pandemic has been eye opening. There is so much need out there, and the “asks” from those requesting our services has never been greater. At the same time, the generosity of our donors has been incredible and record-setting as well. Two of our focus areas are in juvenile mental health and elementary education; both of these segments have been in crisis mode the past year, and we are humbled to be in a position to help make a positive difference. The pandemic has forced us to think outside the box regarding ways we can assist children and families. And it has caused us to pivot in a creative way to host fun, high-energy events. For example, our 2020 CoreyFest was held at a drive-in with a live band and a 65-foot screen. Guests wore masks and practiced social distancing, but even still it was the event’s most successful fundraising year yet – and it was a blast!

How can our readers help?

We’d love to get more people involved! Check us out at Buy a hat. Attend an event. Make a donation. If anyone wants to get involved in a deeper, more meaningful way, we are always looking for those next generation philanthropists who are inspired to do more. We are part of a generation of caring, activated young professionals that are making a difference in the lives of others. There are many opportunities at the Corey C. Griffin Foundation, whether it’s being on a fundraising committee, being a mentor, volunteering at an event, or helping out at a school Field Day, just to name a few. Together we can change the trajectory of children’s lives. Once you meet these kids, these “Corey’s Kids” in our programs, we know you’ll be inspired to help!