For Impact


New Faces of Philanthropy (For Impact)

Blog | | Nick Fellers

Last week’s Barron’s weekly magazine featured a story on the New Faces of Philanthropy. It’s a look at Gen X and younger/generational philanthropists (‘Next-Gen Givers’).

The article is worth a read if only for this excerpt (my bold caps):

These younger givers—entrepreneurs, executives and latter-day members of old-money clans—are intent on leaving a mark now, not in their 50s and 60s. Some are even dropping the p-word itself. “We don’t call what we are doing philanthropy; we call it having an IMPACT,” says Peter Kellner, 39, managing partner of Uhuru Capital Management.

I’ve been reading more and more about the ‘impending leadership gap in nonprofit management’. I find it difficult to relate to these reports for two reasons. First, pick any point in history and the most-senior leaders will probably be about ready to retire. Secondly, (as a biased gen-x person) it’s just not consistent with what I’m seeing in the field. Although this article spotlights the resource end of the chain it illustrates leadership in the late 20’s through early 40’s noting:

  • Gen X Millionaires doubled the size of giving by their parents and grandparents.
  • Giving is global. “In contrast to grandparents who might have defined “giving back to the community” as contributing to local churches, hospitals and schools, many younger philanthropists think the most compelling projects are overseas.”
    Note: I think ‘The World is Flat’ but don’t agree with this assessment wholesale.
  • The new lens is not just about ‘business models’ but about effectiveness. Horahh! This is HUGE. I think the conversations about social entrepreneurs are focusing too much on ‘business model’ (means) and not enough on impact (the end) AKA–FOR IMPACT.