Historically, family enterprises, be they businesses or foundations, have treated succession like a relay race, preparing for when the patriarch or matriarch retires or passes away, and hands the proverbial baton off to the next generation. Similarly, in nonprofits, plans for leadership succession have traditionally focused on how the executive director or board of directors—those who perhaps founded and funded the entity for decades—would someday hand over the reins. These transitions could be emotionally as well as practically difficult, but they were inevitable and often couldn't happen soon enough for the generation waiting in the wings.
But the image of passing a baton doesn't fit the reality of today's philanthropic world, and it isn't one next gen donors find all that helpful. Generations increasingly find themselves working as a team, together versus sequentially. Just as any baseball manager wouldn't field a team of all pitchers, a philanthropic enterprise or nonprofit needs players with diverse skills and experiences on the field at the same time.
Next gen donors aren't waiting for their elders to pass away, retire, or even create a succession plan; instead, they are assuming that every generation brings assets to the work of solving our greatest societal ills. Generation Impact is ready to take the field alongside older generations, not in place of them nor from the sidelines.
Many of ...