The world today can feel a bit like a wild jaunt through the countryside, in between the changing landscape of public opinion and personal finance. Growing uncertainty creates further insecurity with the financial transfer from the baby boomers to the next generation of Gen X, Gen Y, and millennials.
According to Pew Research, the majority of the U.S. population is between 64 and 72 years old. Based on gross cultural and attitudinal differences among the classes, the next era of philanthropists will choose their paths toward social development and improvement quite differently.
How will the older generation respond to this changing environment?
How will they support these new paths to social investment?
What about the Gen X/Yers and millennials? How will their differences force an evolution in philanthropy?
In psychology, the human mind will commonly ask the question, “What’s wrong?” before it asks “What do I want to happen?”
Most of us are woefully ignorant about how millennials et al. today expect charities to show sufficient transparency prior to donating to them.
Young givers demand nonprofits and corporations to be socially responsible and transpicuous before giving their disposable income and extending their name as a donor to be reflected on their social media profile.
Today’s online world offers various crowdfunding platforms, available to everyone, for different causes. A good marketing story can touch one’s heart and increase the results of the crowdfunding. It’s hard for me to imagine baby boomers having their identity built around an online profile of how they give. In years past, baby boomers gave from their hearts, not considering much beyond a charity’s good PR.
When a millennial or Gen X/Yer gains an inheritance, endless taxes, and paperwork, litigation and trust management become a shadow that follows them. But with this awareness and stressful atmosphere, it also provides leverage to rise above the game and find purpose. There is the opportunity to plant seeds that will not simply grow but prosper and fund new growth opportunities. To get one’s hands dirty.
All of us are the creators of our own limitations. Once we drive through the fog of our fears, we can now face what needs to be done and what we are called upon to do. Once we overcome this, we can address the many problems that exist both locally and globally. We will look forward to giving to be in service to others as it resonates true to one’s values.
Starting today, each of us can take three minutes and answer this question: “What empowering history can I create”?
If you are a millennial or Gen X/Yer, the question can be rephrased, “What will our identity be remembered for” on Google?
I hope the present and future generations will own their responsibility and take it to the finish. We all hope they will ally with one another to support each other’s philanthropic goals to avoid the lonely feeling at the top.
This personal dedication and care will extend both to others and provide the social investor a sense of connection and fulfillment.
Angelina Carleton is a legacy coach in Beverly Hills, California. She is a graduate of Penn State University and a descendant of Sir Baldwin de Carleton.