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“A relatively small group of Gen Xers and Millennials are inheriting over $40 trillion in wealth, much of that designated for charitable giving. Many are making their own wealth, too. They will be the major donors in America for decades to come; some already are.”

There has been very little in the way of research dedicated to understanding how the next generation of major donors thinks about and engages in philanthropy.

An excellent piece of research from Next Gen Donors (on the web at or on Twitter at @nextgendonors) does an admirable job of filling this gap. The report, Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy, is the first of its kind and draws on in-depth interviews and detailed surveys of this next generation of major donors (ages 21 to 40).

Its findings suggest that while these donors will maintain the philanthropic values and legacies of their families by giving to similar causes and in similar ways, they will also work responsibly to revolutionize philanthropy, making it a more impactful, hands-on, and networked experience. The report is a must-read for those looking to most effectively assist these donors as they grow into their roles as the world’s next major donors.

brief summary of the report is available by clicking here, but we recommend you read the full report, which can be found by clicking here.

Tom McCullough

Tom McCullough is Chairman and CEO of Northwood Family Office, which looks after the investments and integrated financial affairs of wealthy families with $10 million or more. He teaches ‘The Management of Private Wealth’ in the MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and is also co-author of the books, Family Wealth Management and Wealth of Wisdom: The Top 50 Questions Wealthy Families Ask.

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