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The Next Generation of Givers

By Wealth TransitionJanuary, 2019April 19th, 20242 min read

Philanthropy can be a great way to engage different generations in a wealthy family, and for family members to find purpose where there is no imperative for paid employment. It’s worth keeping in mind the intergenerational differences and trends in giving so that the family giving experience can be as positive as possible.

The Blackbaud Institute’s report on the next generation of American giving has some useful insights. Giving priorities differ by generations, but health, religion and local social services are still high priorities. Gen X and Gen Z are disproportionately committed to animal-related causes.

Older donors consider monetary gifts are their greatest form of impact, while younger donors value the importance of volunteering time and advocacy, and have embraced peer-to-peer fundraising such as through running and cycling events.

There are a number of mindsets that drive giving (responsibility, financial stewardship, planning, spontaneity, activism and recognition), and these carry different importance with different generations. That in turn will drive their choices for whom to support and how to support them.

The full report has plenty of charts and is an easy read, and I recommend it for anyone who is active in the philanthropic world.

Consider This: Who makes philanthropic decisions on behalf of your family? Are these communicated to the family? Have you considered the ways philanthropy can be used to drive closer connections between the generations and convey the family legacy?
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