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August 13, 2013

The Future of Jewish Giving


World Jewish Daily

The Future of Jewish Giving


August 13, 2013

What is the future for American Jewish philanthropy?

With research showing the next generation of American Jews are less interested in formal religious practice and are distancing themselves from Israel, what will be the implications for Jewish nonprofit giving?

In response to those key questions for the American Jewish community, a study was undertaken by the nonprofit group 21/64, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and the Jewish Funders Network. They have just released a report entitled, “Next Gen Donors: The Future of Jewish Giving,” which found that despite fears to the contrary, affluent young American Jews are still seriously committed to donating to Jewish causes.

The survey revealed that giving to “Religious and Faith-based” organizations is the second highest area of giving for the Jewish next gen donors (65 percent), with the category of “Education” number one (73 percent). For their parents and grandparents, that figure is 78 percent for “Religious and Faith-based” causes, and for “Education” that figure is 71 percent. Although Jewish next gen donors (ages 21-40) report less giving to “Religious and Faith-based” causes than their families, it is clear that category is still a priority.

The survey also showed that values learned from their parents and grandparents drive these donors in their philanthropy, with 92 percent of respondents saying their parents influence their giving.

An interesting revelation from the study was the fact the next gen donors are frustrated they don’t “have a seat at the table” in their family foundations, with nearly 40 percent saying they are not involved in their families’ giving process.

The study also found that when it comes to giving to “Combined Organizations” (including United Way, United Jewish Appeal/Jewish Federation), the next gen donors listed their level of support at 51 percent; their families’ level of support was 71 percent. The study’s authors concluded that Jewish next gen donors tended to be more “secular” or universalistic in its giving.

In conclusion, the authors of the study concluded while Jewish next gen donors do “give less to Jewish causes than they perceive that their parents or grandparents do, our findings suggest that the community concern is overblown.”

“If Jewish next gen major donors give to Jewish organizations because of their Jewish identities … then this suggests Jewish philanthropic values have successfully been transmitted in these high-capacity families as well. This has yielded,” the authors conclude, “next gen family members who give Jewishly of their own volition.”

Visit to read the full report.

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