Optimism about next generation of philanthropists
The Family Officer Review features an article by Shahnaz Mahmud looking at how the next generation of philanthropists is challenging the status quo.
The article says that previously philanthropy was very transactional, writing a cheque and hoping it benefited those in need. However, it says that a dynamic shift is now taking place from transactional to relational - that sees philanthropy as being a part of the DNA of the younger generations.
“People want to see their impact,” says New York-based Nora Campbell Wood, who is an active member of her family foundation, The Campbell Foundation. “They want to see that what they are doing is really making a sustainable change.” Campbell Wood visited Africa with her sister and realised that small donations could make a big impact, for example, $37 (£24.37), could cure an adult of a cataract. As a result, her family foundation linked up with The End Fund, dedicated to ending neglected diseases.
The article quotes King McGlaughon, the chief executive of Foundation Source, an advice service for private foundations. He says for the new generation of philanthropists: “It’s not the end result of a life of hard work and wealth building. It’s part of their ongoing life; it’s part of who they are. And you’ll hear members of the younger generations say: this is who I am, I am engaged in my community.”
Bill Sutton, head of philanthropic services, at UBS in New York says that the next generation of philanthropists expect a philanthropic return, much like a monetary investment.
The article draws on research that looks at the motivations of the younger generation of philanthropists. It draws the contrast between baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964, who saw the invention of the television, which brought the world into their homes, civil and women’s rights, and anti-war movements, the landing on the moon. This brought a lot of optimism. The article says: “Many baby boomers now share non profits around their country and steward their own family foundation.”
The next generation lived through Watergate and Iran Contra, the free love of Woodstock, the AIDs epidemic, the war on crack and the divorce rate tripling during their upbringing. They see a significant problem and think I am going to rely on my resources and network, my own time and talent to resolve that. They are more focused on issues rather than serving on committees.
It continues “The following generation who were born in the US between 1980 and 2000, experienced more turmoil in their own country, including Oklahoma City, Columbine, the destruction of the Trade Towers and hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The article suggests that this has led to an uptake in civic participation and volunteerism.”
The article says technology is at the heart of this shift. McGlaughon says: “It has allowed them to see the world as a much closer place that they can touch, feel and interact with, engage, at a very different level all the way through their life than their parents and grandparents did.” People can also network and mobilise support more easily using social media.
Overall, the article is optimistic about the next generation of philanthropists. To read the whole article, visit http://www.familyofficereview.com/family-balance-sheet/philanthropy/article/1008/how-next-gen-philanthropists-are-challenging-the-status-quo&ct=ga&cad=CAcQAhgAIAEoBDAFOAFA6fGVjwVIAVgAYgVlbi1VUw&cd=JY8kLPuMHns&usg=AFQjCNEfCluF80wMpHP6xtHRQl1RsHVV5A