Over the years, our family has supported nonprofits in a variety of sectors: youth sports and leadership, social services, health and medical services, the local zoo, theatre, food banks, education groups and faith-based organizations.
From the time our children were very young, we involved them in our volunteer activities. Recently, we have asked them what these activities have meant to them.
Our son has great memories of his Boy Scout troop delivering presents each Christmas to a residential youth home where they play games and interact with one another. Some of our daughter’s most memorable experiences are when we have provided Christmas gifts for area families, as well as volunteering to provide meals at a local shelter.
As they get older, we will be having discussions with them about our financial support of various nonprofits. We want them to have a complete picture of the power of philanthropy, because, one day, they will be making these financial decisions for themselves.
Based on giving research, over the next 20 to 30 years, the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the United States will take place, with an estimated $30 trillion being passed from one generation to the next.
This process has already begun. Nonprofits and donors are wise to prepare for this philanthropic transformation that is sure to come with its own set of challenges and opportunities.
Very soon, successive generations will become more involved in the decision making, as a new generation of philanthropists begins engaging in the process.
Now is the best time to prepare the next generation for their future roles as volunteers, staff, board members and philanthropists. It is just one more reason to give our children plenty of opportunities to experience the power of philanthropy for themselves.