Giving Compass’ Take:
• Richard Marker, writing for eJewish Philanthropy, discusses his time at the Exponent Philanthropy conference focusing on how family philanthropists are engaging with their next-gen counterparts.
• What are the biggest hurdles for next-gen philanthropists in family philanthropy dynamics?
• Understand more about next-generation philanthropists.
Last week, I attended the annual Exponent Philanthropy conference. I have lost track of how many of these I have attended – going back to the early years under its prior name Association of Small Foundations – but I can attest that it is always one of the best conferences for funders in which I participate. This year my role was strictly as a participating member so the conversations I am reporting were all serendipitous around dining tables [although, it is only fair to say that those with whom I spoke were aware of my expertise in the family philanthropy area] .
The questions were remarkably aligned: when and how should we engage the next generation in our family philanthropy. It is often a challenge – What is the correct age? How to involve them in decision making? And the like.
Interestingly, the conversations all posited a similar approach. “Let the younger family members research some projects and report back to us.” The arguments were of two sorts: this would be a good educational method and/or it is a way to prove their readiness.
When I asked their ages, the next gen folks were all in their 20’s and 30’s. I responded, “so you are giving them homework assignments – but not a vote.” In every other way they are grown-ups, perhaps with careers and families, but in these families they are still given homework assignments and not ready for the grown-up philanthropy table. [“Next Gen” isn’t always age related, by the way. In a few situations in which I have been involved, the “next gen” were in their 60’s and still not given autonomy or a real vote!]
Read the full article about next-gen philanthropy by Richard Marker at eJewish Philanthropy.
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