• Service: Enterprise, Family business
  • Type: Business and industry issue
  • Date: 9/25/2013

The Philanthropy of the Millennial Generation 

Philanthropy Millennial Generation
In A Big Conversation for the New Philanthropists, Aron Pervin describes the shift in philanthropy happening between the approach of the “old guard” and what he calls the “Millennial generation” – the new wave of philanthropy that first generation entrepreneurs and next generation family members are often leading.

The Philanthropy of the Millennial Generation

“The Millennial generation is not content to wait around; they are more confident and self-
directed in constructing their own hands-on solutions for the planet and its people by finding solutions to social problems. They are innovative, entrepreneurial, technologically-savvy, sophisticated, educated, collaborative, demanding and seek purpose through measurement.” – Aron Pervin

Next generation social change

Pervin reports that 42% of next-gens under 30 believe that social change is as important as profit, compared to 26% of those over the age of 45. In addition, the next-gens believe in a stronger linkage between charitable activities and business, and between doing good and reporting performance results.

The Millennial generation are more likely to engage in focused experimentation to address important social problems:

  • Identity linked to funding grassroots initiatives now with often unknown passionate non-profits, people and groups;
  • Gravitate to like-minded people who are aligned spiritually and share passion and values;
  • Focus typically on pre-defined impact and measurable outcomes.

The Millennial generation

Millennials tend to concentrate their wealth in fewer, larger projects in which they get personally involved and support for the long-term. They tend to build a lean infrastructure in their foundation and work mostly through existing NGOs and social entrepreneurs, leveraging community talent whenever possible.

They’re thus more likely to be concerned about sustainable impact than long-term wealth preservation. The Millennial generation will also spend more than what is tax efficient and tend to source deals through their peer networks as opposed to using hired advisors.

Social entrepreneurs

“The old guard and new philanthropists have similar values on giving and are partners in this game as the elders opened broad avenues of giving and saw themselves as generals leading
their change agenda. The Millennials are now in charge and it’s their turn to focus on specific areas and achieve results as partners in a more focused agenda.” – Aron Pervin

Are you a traditional philanthropist or have you adopted the Millennial generation approach to giving?

For more on this, read A Big Conversation for the New Philanthropists by Aron Pervin on Family Business Wiki.

Filipe Santos

Filipe Santos
Filipe Santos is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD. He is the director for the Maag International Centre for Entrepreneurship and the academic director of the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Initiative.

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