The up-and-coming generations are called many things and accused of many more. Speculation about their impact on philanthropy are the subject of books, blogs, studies, and many podcast discussions. In this episode, Katie interviews Dr. Michael Moody and Sharna Goldseker, the researchers and authors behind Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors are Revolutionizing Giving. Originally published in 2017, the book follows extensive research on the aspirations of Generation X and Millennials. Now, an updated and expanded edition is available.
Work, wealth, wisdom. Time, talent, and treasure. The three-part recipe for philanthropy usually contains the same ingredients. However, the next generation is adding their own seasoning. This is in the form of social influence, a.k.a. social ties (as in time, talent, treasure, and ties). To be sure, social capital is part of the next generation's wealth and legacy. Sharna highlights that it is also a portion of their wealth that is created, not necessarily inherited. Therefore, the value to the next-gen giver may be even greater.
An assumption often made about the next-gen donors is that they don’t share the preceding generations' values. But Sharna and Michael debunk this assumption, sharing that their giving priorities do mirror that of preceding generations. Most notably, core interest areas are education and basic needs—the same top focus areas as Baby Boomers. What has changed is the values with needs in these areas as well as how impact is understood. Sharna reminds us that younger generations are becoming known for being about values, not valuables.
Our number one recommendation is don't wait. We know that this next generation wants to be deeply engaged and we know that they're going to have tremendous resources, unprecedented resources to give. So, if you can connect with those donors now, it's going to be a relationship that could be the biggest donor relationship you've ever had for your organization. So that'd be my one thing very simply don't wait.
Sharna Goldseker is today’s leading expert on multigenerational and next-gen philanthropy. As a next-gen donor herself, she offers a trusted insider’s perspective. As founder of 21/64, a nonprofit practice serving next-gen and multigenerational philanthropic families, Sharna has mastered and developed the industry’s gold-standard tools for transforming how families who give will define their values, collaborate, and govern in the decades ahead. She is a leading and consistent presence in the philanthropic field, known for her quiet gravitas and insight.
Today, prominent nonprofits, philanthropic networks, and foundations look to Sharna for her expertise. She provides training, facilitation, and keynote speaking regarding next-generation engagement and multigenerational advising. Sharna is the co-author of the best-seller, Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving published by Wiley. She and her co-author received the 2019 AFP/Skystone Partners Research Prize for Excellence in Academic Research. She also received the 2017 Family Wealth Report Award for Best Philanthropy Practice. In addition, she was one of 2016’s “Women of Influence” by New York Business Journal, and one of 2014’s “Women to Watch” by Jewish Women International.
Sharna earned a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in public administration in nonprofit management from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. There, she was the inaugural Charles H. Tenney Fellow.
Sharna currently serves on the board of directors of the Goldseker Foundation, a foundation established by her great-uncle. In addition, she is a member of the Collaboration for Family Flourishing, a network of leading family wealth advisors. She is married with two children.
Dr. Moody is the Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Frey Foundation Chair is the world’s first-ever endowed chair for family philanthropy, and Dr. Moody became the first holder of the chair in 2010.
Dr. Moody serves as a guide to the rapidly evolving landscape of philanthropy and social innovation. He helps diverse audiences see the role that giving plays in society and expands both the practice and understanding of family philanthropy. He also straddles the worlds of scholarship and practice, shining a light on the connections between giving and lived experience.
Dr. Moody is trained as a cultural sociologist with a Ph.D. from Princeton. He actively works to understand and improve philanthropy and nonprofit organizations, doing so for almost 30 years. He is co-author of the books Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving (with Sharna Goldseker, 2017), The Philanthropy Reader (with Beth Breeze, 2016), and Understanding Philanthropy: Its Meaning and Mission (with Robert L. Payton, 2008). He is a frequent speaker and a sought-after commentator on philanthropic trends and research. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Nonprofit Quarterly, Forbes, Alliance, and elsewhere.
Dr. Moody earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University. There, he became one of the first employees of the university’s renowned Center on Philanthropy, helping to create the Jane Addams Fellows Program. He received a master’s in social science from the University of Chicago. At Princeton, his doctoral work focused on philanthropic giving and nonprofit organizations. Prior to becoming the Frey Foundation Chair, Dr. Moody held faculty positions at Boston University and the University of Southern California, where he was a faculty fellow at the USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy. He also founded Moody Philanthropic Consulting based in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to his books about the theory and social role of philanthropy and donors, his other works focus on family foundations, venture philanthropy, ethical giving, the notion of “giving back,” donor education, nonprofit advocacy, and other topics.
Dr. Moody lives with his wife in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He balances a life of the mind by practicing kung fu and hitting golf balls and drums, though rarely at the same time.
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