Next Generation Philanthropists

September 30th, 2013

Trends are emerging in how young donors and next generation family members approach philanthropy. With such unprecedented access to social media and information, this next generation is seeking to have a greater impact and to further integrate their values in their approach to giving.

Young donors (Gen Xers and Millennials) are engaging more in values-based investing and desire an even greater impact with their giving than their predecessors, according to an article in Forbes magazine. They see being a major donor not measured by dollar amounts but measured by impact. And they are looking at impact from many angles, from direct measureable results, to larger social change, and even to holding investments in securities and other forms of investments that promote social causes (known as impact investing).

This values-driven approach surfaces even among young people who don’t have access to significant wealth. They often make choices about where to shop and where to work based on social values of corporations. And research about the future of social activism shows that young people are becoming more active in promoting social causes, beyond just staying informed about issues.

These common threads of values and impact were also among the top key findings about young philanthropists in a report released this year called “#NextGenDonors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy”. This study, conducted by 21/64 and the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, explored who how next gen donors think.

The evolution of access to information and social media has certainly paved new roads for young people to travel in their philanthropic journeys. And, as speculated in the “#NextGenDonors” report, the next generation of major philanthropists “will have tremendous influence on the direction and support for efforts to improve local communities and solve global problems over the next several decades.”


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