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Next-generation donors study reveals giving trends in Jewish community

Posted on August 09, 2013

Further analysis of a groundbreaking study on next-generation donors by Grand Valley State University’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and 21/64 is revealing new trends about the major Jewish donors of tomorrow. The report, ‘Next Gen Donors: The Future of Jewish Giving’ examines the causes these next-gen donors care about, how they approach their giving, and how their approach differs from the generations that came before them, with important implications for the Jewish organizations that seek their support. 

Drawing from the research reported in Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy, released in February, this new report offers in-depth information and new insight as a new generation of Jewish donors starts their giving, revealing how these donors will affect the philanthropy community for decades to come. Through analysis of national survey responses and dozens of direct, candid statements from Jewish next gen donors, the report reveals:

Jewish next gen donors do give to Jewish causes: Despite research that new generations of the Jewish community are less involved in formal religious practice than previous generations, these next gen donors continue to fund Jewish organizations, identifying religious and faith-based organizations as the second most common area of their giving. 

Jewish next gen donors are driven by values: Inherited values drive these donors in their philanthropy, values often learned from parents and grandparents. Jewish next gen donors report seeking a balance between honoring and respecting their family legacy while looking for new ways to make an impact.

Jewish next gen donors are eager to be more formally involved in family philanthropy: These donors report not being as involved in their families’ giving as they would like to be, and striving for a more active role. Many Jewish next gen donors, frustrated by the lack of formal engagement in their own families, often look elsewhere for meaningful philanthropic engagement and experience.

Jewish next gen donors seek to revolutionize philanthropy: Like most next gen donors, Jewish next gen donors are looking for new, innovative ways to maximize the impact of their giving, by exploring more hands-on experience and shifting to more peer-oriented giving. 

“Many Jewish organizations and Jewish families are reevaluating how to engage the emerging generation of Jewish donors who will carry the legacy of Jewish family giving into the future,” said Michael Moody, Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. “The new findings from this study help advance our thinking about how these Jewish next gen donors want to be engaged, either by the organizations they support or within their own families.”

The report was made possible by the generous support of the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation, the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, and the Morningstar Foundation, and with collaboration from the Jewish Funders Network. 

For more information or to join the conversation, search #nextgendonors or #jewishngd on Twitter.

The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich., serves foundations, nonprofits, and others seeking to transform their communities for the public good. The Center conducts original research and evaluation, teaches effective practices and provides practical tools, and collects and displays community data. The Center works extensively throughout the state of Michigan, nationally, and internationally. The Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Center is the nation’s only endowed chair focused on improving the understanding and practice of family philanthropy. 

21/64 is a nonprofit consulting practice that specializes in next generation and multigenerational strategic philanthropy. Initially founded as a division of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, 21/64 is built on the premise that next generation funders have their own values, visions, and voices to bring to the philanthropic table. As families engage the next generation in foundations, donor-advised funds, and family offices, these endeavors can be opportunities for families to work together, yet challenges can and often do arise when multiple generations begin to make decisions together. 21/64 offers coaching, consulting, speaking, training and uniquely developed resource tools to assist families and their advisors during these times of generational transitions.

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