Although philanthropic professionals have strong relationships with their donors and fund holders, they often have yet to develop relationships with the successor trustees or family members who are due to become the next generation of community foundation donors. Using findings from a first-of-its kind research study we conducted with the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, 100 community foundation professionals from around the country came together this morning to learn and share ideas about how they can begin to build meaningful and trusting relationships with Gen X and Y donors involved in family philanthropy.
Still mining the data from 310 survey respondents ages 21-40 and nearly 30 interviews, Michael Moody, Frey Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, made these observations:
On the program today was Robyn Schein, director of donor experience and engagement at the Minneapolis Foundation, with whom 21/64 has worked on providing multigenerational family philanthropy services. The Minneapolis Foundation has developed “Fourth Generation,” referring to the fourth generation of the hundred-year-old community foundation. The program is an entryway into the foundation and the community, giving young professionals in the region an opportunity to connect with their peers, learn about effective philanthropy, and affording them the chance to make allocation decisions and be involved in communal leadership today.
What is essential to effectively cultivating this cohort is this: If you involve the next generation in meaningful and substantial ways today, they will support you in meaningful and substantial ways tomorrow.
For more information on the research, contact Sharna@2164.net or firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to launching the official findings of the study with the Council on Foundations, one of our collaborating partners, at the Council’s Family Philanthropy Conference in January 2013.
Sharna Goldseker is the managing director of 21/64, a nonprofit consulting division of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, specializing in next generation and multigenerational strategic philanthropy.