Bridging the Generation Gap with Generosity (Part One)

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Young pop singer Billie Eilish’s reaction to a comedy routine at the 92nd Oscars ceremony had a lot of people talking and tweeting about the generation gap last week. I must admit that until I saw the headlines analyzing her perplexed expression, I hadn’t even heard of Billie Eilish, but the whole thing got me thinking about connecting with the next generation.

Set a Generous Example for the Next Generation

While it isn’t guaranteed that our children or grandchildren will embrace our teaching on philanthropy, I am encouraged to know that modelling charitable giving does have a powerful impact.

A recent study featured in the book The Philanthropic Mind highlights that two of the top three influences on learning and developing personal philanthropy are: “Observations of the philanthropic activities of parents, grandparents, or other family members,” and “What parents, grandparents, or other family members taught about philanthropy.”

That said, their giving isn’t going to be a carbon copy of their predecessors. The authors of The Philanthropic Mind caution that “Next gen donors may only be willing to give based on having a seat at the decision-making table or some other criteria that is different from their parents.”

So how do we encourage the next generation to live more generously? It starts with finding ways to share the experience.

In Part Two, we’ll explore 5 practical tips to encourage generosity and connect generations.

Contributed by Peter Dryden
Gift Planning Consultant

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