Inside Philanthropy

A blog on philanthropy and nonprofit news and issues. A publication of Philanthropy Journal.

November 11, 2013

Study reveals new picture of Jewish ‘next gen’ major donors

An Israeli woman prepares packages of food to give to the poor for the Jewish holiday of Passover in Ashdod, Israel. ©Shutterstock
News release

A recent report from 21/64 and the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University reveals a new picture of the major Jewish donors of tomorrow. The report, Next Gen Donors: The Future of Jewish Giving, examines the causes these next gen donors care about, how they approach their giving and how their approach differs from the generations that came before them, with important implications for the Jewish organizations that seek their support.

Drawing from the research reported in Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy, released in February, this new report offers in-depth information and insights as a new generation of Jewish donors starts their giving, revealing how these donors will affect the philanthropy community for decades to come. Through analysis of national survey responses and dozens of direct, candid statements from Jewish next gen donors, the report reveals: 
  • •      Jewish next gen donors do give to Jewish causes. Despite research that new generations of the Jewish community are less involved in formal religious practice than previous generations, these next gen donors continue to fund Jewish organizations, identifying religious and faith-based organizations as the second most common area of their giving.
  • •     Jewish next gen donors are driven by values. Inherited values drive these donors in their philanthropy, values often learned from parents and grandparents. Jewish next gen donors report seeking a balance between honoring and respecting their family legacy while looking for new ways to make an impact.
o   Jewish next gen donors are eager to be more formally involved in family philanthropy. These donors report not being as involved in their families’ giving as they would like to be and striving for a more active role. Many Jewish next gen donors, frustrated by the lack of formal engagement in their own families, often look elsewhere for meaningful philanthropic engagement and experience.
o   Jewish next gen donors seek to revolutionize philanthropy. Like most next gen donors, Jewish next gen donors are seeking new, innovative ways to maximize the impact of their giving, exploring more hands-on experiences and shifting to more peer-oriented giving.

“Many Jewish organizations and Jewish families are reevaluating how to engage the emerging generation of Jewish donors who will carry the legacy of Jewish family giving into the future,” said
Michael Moody
Michael Moody, Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy. “The new findings from this study help advance our thinking about how these Jewish next gen donors want to be engaged, either by the organizations they support or within their own families.”

"Despite concerns from the community that the next generation of Jewish funders are less involved in Jewish giving, the results from our study provide an optimistic view,” said Sharna Goldseker, managing director of 21/64. “As the surveys reveal, not only are Jewish next gen donors committed to supporting Jewish organizations, they want to be even further involved in substantive and meaningful ways.”

The report was made possible by the support of the Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and Morningstar Foundation, with collaboration from the Jewish Funders Network.

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