India Philanthropy Alliance Launches Nationwide Youth Essay Competition

The India Philanthropy Alliance (IPA), a US-based coalition of 13 nonprofit organizations serving communities in India, has announced its second national youth essay competition to challenge students to think about solutions to social problems and their own role in nonprofits and philanthropy.

The winners, runners-up, and finalists will be selected by a panel of philanthropy experts in two age brackets. For middle school students, the essay length is 600 words or fewer, and for high school students, the limit is 1,200 words. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2020.

“Our goal with this contest is to get students excited about philanthropy and problem-solving, particularly on issues affecting India," says Alex Counts, the director of IPA.

Winners in each age category will be invited to present their ideas at the Indiaspora Philanthropy Summit and allowed to direct $1,000 to the nonprofit of their choice. Runners-up will be granted $500 toward the nonprofit of their choice.

In the coalition's inaugural 2020 contest, winners Maher Adoni and Rohan Chalamalasetti shared their perspectives on rural education and clean drinking water.

Maher, a senior from Champaign, Illinois, reflected on the contest, “Writing the essay allowed me to draw on my own personal experience witnessing the state of education in India with my thoughts on the topic as a whole. And winning the essay--which I never expected to happen--exposed me to all the amazing Indian American philanthropy that happens here in the United States and abroad."

The contest is made possible again this year through generous support from the Sarva Mangal Family Trust, supported by the Shah Family of Orange County and their company MS International, Inc.

For any questions, reach out to Alex Counts, Senior Adviser at India Philanthropy Alliance at

For additional information on the background and essay guidelines of the youth essay competition, visit