The beauty of philanthropy goes beyond just the lives touched by donations and hard work. Philanthropy is a worthy pursuit because giving begets more giving. Proactively contributing to a cause can spur others to do the same and create a culture of positive change. This applies to corporations, organizations, and even families.
This is the principle behind the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation. When we established the Foundation, we envisioned it not just as a way to support the various communities we were involved in, but to pass down values to our children and encourage them to do the same. And it has never been a better time to examine the ways that the next generation is giving.
In fact, charitable contributions are becoming more and more common among younger individuals, many of whom are choosing to give back wherever and however they can rather than waiting to donate larger sums of money later on in their careers. This is a generation that values authenticity and helping out causes that they believe in. For successful entrepreneurs and the like, working charity into their culture and the culture of their businesses has been a big part of this change.
The way they give is also changing. For those that create businesses, the lines between profit and philanthropy are blurred as they look for ways to leverage their investments into their communities of choice and the promotion of corporate responsibility. They want to both start and work for businesses that align with their personal values and find ways to meld their career with the issues that they’re passionate about. Many see their own privilege as all the more reason to give back and make a real difference in the world.
With these changes comes the opportunity for the leaders of nonprofits to reevalute their collection practices and the ways they manage their organizations. Far from wanting to just donate and be done, younger philanthropists want to be involved in an organization and help out in more than just a financial capacity. It can be challenging to find ways for donors to be active with a nonprofit, but if an organization can put their talents to good use, it gives them opportunities to improve engagement and work toward solving problems. Despite the added overhead that comes with making these changes happen, it also provides much-needed innovation and should be embraced.
Furthermore, nonprofits should look at ways that they can streamline or differentiate themselves and the issues they work to solve. It may sound more like a business strategy that something befitting a nonprofit, but finding a niche can help a nonprofit appeal to a specific subset of younger donors that may feel lost navigating a sea of potential charities and causes worthy of their attention.
At the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation, we focus on the causes that members of our organization are passionate about and expand accordingly. This is because we want to encourage all to give in their own ways and forge new partnerships that can last generations.