In Parts 1 and 2, we focused on how next gen donors want to revolutionize philanthropy to prioritize impact and innovation, retool strategy, and go all in with their every asset—time, talent, treasure, and ties. We learned that they don't necessarily want to change what causes or issues major donors support so much as how they support those causes.
In Part 3, we turn to the questions of why emerging next gen donors give and especially who they are and what makes them tick. What we learned might surprise you.
If you follow pop culture, you might label wealthy Millennials and Gen Xers as “self‐centered” or “entitled.” We all see stories about the decadence of the “Rich Kids of Instagram.” But if you listen to next gen donors like John R. Seydel and Justin Rockefeller—who are highlighted in this chapter—you get a very different picture.
In fact, in our combined 40 years in this field, we have found that most next gen donors are driven primarily by values, not valuables. Regardless of their wealth and privilege, their philanthropy is motivated more by what they believe in and care about than by a desire for praise or other less noble impulses.
Our research for this book has confirmed our experience and assumptions. In surveying major donors ages 21 to 40 about the importance of various reasons for engaging in philanthropy, “supporting a mission or cause that I believe in, and that fits with my personal values” came in first ...