Younger Donors Are Closer to Philanthropy Than They May Appear
“I’ve lived long enough to see a pattern. Each generation worries about succeeding generations and the loss of its own. Every time an elder donor passes away or a generous corporation leaves, their beneficiaries see an irreplaceable loss; a hole in the budget; a reason to ask how we can instill the values of giving in the younger generations and newer companies.”
This was the introductory paragraph of Robert Thalhimer’s post on the PhilanthroMedia blog last week. Despite this constant worry, Thalhimer says, giving increases annually and endowments are booming.
The reason philanthropy remains alive and well despite the generational shift is twofold. First, elderly donors are giving bequests or planned gifts to churches, alma maters, and family and community foundations.
“Second, the younger generations seem to have gained a greater sense of philanthropy than we have given them credit for. Many inheritors of wealth are turning into great givers. And, there is a boom in new wealth creation due to a vibrant world economy. Many entrepreneurs seem to be using their wealth for social good,” according to Thalhimer.
Charities in decline continue to obsess over the loss of key donors, while successful ones are looking “purposefully and creatively toward the future.”
“They are engaging younger donors and asking older ones to endow their support. These up and comers in the rear view mirror are closer to claiming the leadership roles in our communities than they may appear.”
— June 4, “Generosity is Growing, Not Diminishing” www.philanthromedia.org