HOW TO BRING THE NEXT GENERATION INTO THESE DISCUSSIONS AND THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
It is expected that the next generation, whether through wealth transfer or wealth creation, will usher in a ‘golden age’ of philanthropy. Research has shown that generation X and millennials are eager to see the impact of their philanthropic giving and willing to try new charitable-giving tools. They are focused on solutions rather than products and services. If advisors are committed to the socio-emotional wealth of the family, they must also support the succession of the family values through the next generation.
For advisors, working with next-generation donors means expanding their view of the family beyond that of the original wealth holder and engaging with different interests, perspectives and causes. They may be willing to interrogate how their family created their wealth, and they may be looking for ways to contribute to economic redistribution and social justice, areas particularly underserved by current philanthropy. Looking to develop solutions requires a different approach than offering products or services. A conversation on self-reflection and self-reflexivity can be a starting point.
Self-reflection can help the next generation explore their reasons for philanthropy by engaging with questions on the ‘why’, concerning legacy, values or impact. Their responses might mirror their families’, but they may be unique. Self-reflexivity questions the ‘how’ of giving. These questions are both retrospective, examining past giving tools, and anticipatory, planning future strategic, tactical or values-based decisions. Self-reflexivity is an active practice throughout the giving journey and helps next-generation donors grapple with the tools and approaches they choose. The combination of self-reflection and self-reflexivity provides advisors with a conversational framework focused on building solutions for their next-generation clients.STEP-Journal-Issue-5-2020-60-61