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Generational Shift in Philanthropy is Near

Generational Shift in Philanthropy is Near

As the following report shows, there is a substantial generational shift ahead in the way that donors and charitable organizations work together:The next generation of major donors, those Gen Xers and Millennials born between 1964 and 1999, are poised to inherit about $40 trillion. Starting from the premise that not enough is known about these major donors of the near future, the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., in partnership with 21/64 in New York City, studied these donors and found they are more hands-on than previous generations and more driven by engagement and personal values. The resulting report, “Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy,” was recently released. “This generation has the potential to be the most philanthropic in history, and we don’t know much about them,” said Michael Moody, Ph.D., Frey Chair for Family Foundations in Philanthropy at the Johnson Center. “Simply knowing more about this incredibly important group of people is really important for the field.” The study details survey responses from 310 respondents, and researchers gave in-depth interviews to 30 subjects. Respondents had to meet at least one of the following criteria: personal net worth of at least $500,000; personal income of $100,000 or more; endowed family philanthropic assets of $500,000 or more; annual personal giving of at least $5,000; or annual family giving of at least $10,000. Respondents spanned two generations; those born between 1964 and 1980 are Generation X, and those born between 1981 and 1999 are Generation Y or Millennials. These next generation donors have learned about philanthropy very early. Some 95 percent of respondents began volunteering before the age of 20, with 35.5 percent saying they started younger than age 10. About half began using their own money for charity before they turned 21, and nearly all started before age 30.

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