Want to build a long-term pipeline of supporters?

generations

by George Rattin, Associate Vice President, HUB Philanthropic Solutions

A recent study conducted by the Lily Family School of Philanthropy  entitled “A Tradition of Giving: New research on giving and volunteering within families” provides data that supports the idea that generational modeling has a significant effect on future philanthropy.  The study finds that for every 1% increase in a parent’s incidence of volunteering, their children’s odds of volunteering increased by 0.8%, and their odds of donating grew by 0.7 %.  This study finds that engaging generations of families (grandparents, parents, children) with a cause builds affinity and connection in a more effective way than simply trying to build connections separately.  The study finds that the  following:

  • Parents’ decision to give to charitable organizations positively influences their children’s decision to give to charitable organizations.
  • Parents and their children give similarly to:
    • Religious organizations,
    • International charitable organizations,
    • Environmental organizations
    • Arts-related organizations.
  • Parents whose giving is more concentrated (they give to fewer sub-sectors) positively influence their children’s religious giving.
  • Parents’ decision to volunteer with charitable organizations:
    • Positively influences their children’s decision to volunteer with charitable organizations, and
    • Positively influences their children’s decision to give to charitable organizations.
  • The philanthropic giving priorities of parents and their children are more closely matched than are the philanthropic giving priorities of grandparents and their grandchildren.
  • Grandparents and their grandchildren give:
    • Similarly to arts-related organizations (high-net-worth sample only)
    •  Dissimilarly to basic needs-related organizations.

As you look to build philanthropic support fro your organization, remember the power of role-modeling especially between parents and children. Creating opportunities that allow parents and their children to volunteer, interact or support your organization will bear long-term fruit and help build support in a new generation of donors.

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