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AS THE GREATEST GENERATION and the Baby Boomers prepare to hand off the baton to younger generations, many of us are wondering what will happen next with philanthropy.


Produced by 21/64 and the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, “Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy” looks for the first time at how 21- to 40-year-olds from wealthy families truly feel about giving. With trillions of dollars starting to pass from Baby Boomers to their heirs in the coming years, the study has major implications for philanthropy in the 21st century.


For starters, the report shows that next generation donors want to be more hands-on with the charities and causes they care about. They want to partner with organizations and to offer their personal talents to help solve a problem. Like others their age, Next Gen donors are highly networked with their peers and like to encourage others to give their time and money to the same causes they believe in.


They also tend to choose those causes through personal experiences and at an earlier age. Instead of waiting until the sunset of their lives to figure out what legacies they want to leave, Next Gen donors are proactive about seeing and doing as much as they can to craft their philanthropic identities and imprint their social values right now.


Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the study is that Next Gen donors don’t give out of loyalty. They view themselves as being intensely focused on what kind of meaningful change they can help to produce. They want to be able to see and feel the real impact of their donations, not just hear about it.


At Communities Foundation of Texas, we’ve worked with families for more than 60 years and seen first-hand how attitudes often change from one generation to the next. But, we also know how important it is for families to work together across generations to empower young philanthropists and leverage the value of a long-running legacy. That’s one reason why we recently launched our Center for Family Philanthropy at CFT. It’s the perfect way to help you identify shared values, then engage multiple generations in giving and getting involved in the community. Ask us about it if you’re interested.


No matter how old you are or what priorities you embrace, you probably join me in believing that philanthropy is a cornerstone of our community. North Texas has been hugely shaped by the giving spirit of our people and a belief in the hope of opportunity.


Generations come and go, but the power of philanthropy is timeless.




President and CEO


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