Jewish ‘next gen’ major donors want impact

Despite research showing that new generations of Jews are less involved than previous generations in formal religious practice, Jewish “next gen” donors continue to fund Jewish organizations, and they identify religious and faith-based organization as the second most common area of their giving, a new report says.

Driving those donors in their giving are inherited values they often learn from their parents and grandparents, says the report, Next Gen Donors: The Future of Jewish Giving, from 21/61 and the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy.

Jewish next gen donors seek a balance between honoring and respecting their family legacy, while looking for ways to make an impact, says the report, which draws on research from another report, Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy, that the two groups released in February, and on dozens of statements from Jewish next gen donors.

Jewish next gen donors say they are not as involved in their families’ giving as they would like to be, and want a more active role.

Many say they are frustrated by the lack of formal engagement in their own families, and that they look elsewhere for meaningful philanthropic engagement and experience.

Like most next gen donors, the report says, Jewish next gen donors are looking for new and innovative ways to maximize the impact of their giving, and are 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,” Michael Moody, Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, says in a statement.

Todd Cohen

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