Often divided based on age between those born in or before 1963 and those born after, the donors surveyed were almost unanimously motivated by a desire to effect social change.
The majority (45 percent) of pre-civil rights blacks focused their philanthropy on the black community, while the majority of the younger blacks surveyed focused giving on communities of color, minorities and the underprivileged.
Churches were selected most likely to receive one of the top gifts from older black donors, with more than half (55 percent) giving to a local church or religious appeal. According to Felinda Mottino and Eugene Miller, authors of “Philanthropy Among African-American Donors in the New York Metropolitan Region: A Generational Analysis,” one of a selection of articles compiled in the book “Exploring Black Philanthropy” edited by Patrick Rooney and Lois Sherman, which summarizes the project’s finding, “Many African-Americans made it clear they see the church not only as a religious and spiritual place but also as a center for community development.”
Educational organizations were the next most common recipients of charitable gifts from older black donors, but were the most popular recipients among the younger set. Mottino and Miller report that about one-third of younger blacks gave to their alma maters. Churches also were recipients of the largest gifts made by this segment, though to a lesser extent than the older donors.
International programs, chiefly those located in Africa and the Caribbean, were recipients of large gifts by both age groups.
The project found more of a propensity in the older black donors to make political contributions, with more than half saying they made a contribution in the past year, compared to only 20 percent of the younger generation.
Notable motivating factors behind giving for old and young reported by Mottino and Miller included giving back to the community, feeling connected to something beyond themselves and a sense of satisfaction when giving to charity.