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February 6, 2013

What’s Different About #NextGenDonors?


Armchair Advocates

Are “Next Gen” Donors Really So Different?


The next generations of major philanthropists, who fit into “Gen X” (born 1964-1980) or “Gen Y/Millennial” (born 1981-2000) generational cohorts, will wield more philanthropic power than any previous generation, according to a new study by the Johnson Center for Philanthropy and 21/64. With an unprecedented amount of wealth, these donors hold the future of philanthropy in their hands; yet are they so different from the philanthropists from generations past?

According to the millennial donors themselves, the answer is “yes and no.” These “next gen” donors see themselves as very different from their parents and grandparents, but they also acknowledge more similarities than we might expect. The philanthropic values learned from their families drive them, and they want to be good stewards of the philanthropic legacies they stand to inherit. Next gen donors even give to some similar causes as their families. Yet they also feel excited about new innovations and ideas for change. They seek the right balance between honoring the past and improving the future.

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