Summer Book Club: Generation Impact

June 27, 2018



Written By: Jan

By Jan Brogdon

Central to our team values is the concept that we can never stop learning, reading, connecting and sharing.  This month, we will share books that have impacted us personally and/or professionally. Perhaps one of our “book reports” will inspire you to join us in our quest for continuous learning. (Although we suspect you are already there.)


“The Wealth Transfer! Don’t Miss Out! Learn How to Position Your Charity to Receive Money Before It’s Too Late!!”

How many courses and workshop sessions have we all attended on this topic? And yet how many of us really feel like we are doing what we need to do to prepare for the next generation of leaders?

Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors are Revolutionizing Giving” by Sharna Goldseker and Michael Moody, provides intriguing research on the younger end of the generational pyramid. Through hours of interviews with hundreds of next generation philanthropists and 13 key individuals who were willing to be identified in the book, several key tenants are established.

  • Real-world impact is key. Can you show first-hand how their contributions of time, talent and treasure are making a difference with an identified problem? Has your organization entertained new strategies and attempted to use technology and innovation to look at an issue or are you addressing it the same way that you always have? They will want to work with you to get their hands dirty to strive for improvement.
  •  The new generations do not see themselves as “charitable ATM’s.” They want to do good work and bring their social networks along with them. However, they are looking for hands-on experiences as program volunteers, policy volunteers, and with their own children in projects and learning that brings the cause challenges into their first-hand knowledge awareness. They will want authenticity and a chance to see behind the curtain. Well-scripted events are not enough.
  • This, currently identified, potential “golden age of giving” generation clearly understand they are standing on the “shoulders of giants.” There is tremendous respect for the grandparents who helped to found many of the charities that exist in our world today. They also see those family members as revolutionaries in their own right and they seek to respectfully provide a similar sense of innovation as they take the reins of family and community responsibility.

As you engage with the next generation, be aware that for many of these younger people, the family money may not flow until they are older. Remember to respect them at the gift level where they are today, while providing meaningful opportunities to connect to your mission.

It is important to always adapt as a leader and an organization to understand the next generation and allow them to give their time, talent and resources in a new way. These new, fresh supporters can help you tackle some of the biggest problems of our generation with a renewed vigor for solving them.

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2 responses to “Summer Book Club: Generation Impact”

  1. John C Alexander says:

    Jan, your last paragraph is an important message. Us old folks have to adapt our business model for philanthropic pursuits.