Tuesday, February 19, 2013

$40 Trillion Wealth Shift

$40 Trillion Wealth Transfer
A certain segment of Gen X Millennials are anticipated to inherit $40 trillion dollars between now an 2050. Some project 15% of that wealth will be distributed philanthropically. What does that mean for community-based nonprofits?
Alyssa's parents will be be transferring a priceless wealth of memories, a topic rarely covered at planned giving roundtables
First, let's take a look at the type of younger donor typically surveyed about this shift. For the report, "Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy" survey respondents had to meet at least one of the following criteria:
  • Personal net worth of at least $500,000
  • Personal income of $100,000 or more
  • Endowed family philanthropic assets of $500,000 or more
  • Annual personal giving of at least $5,000
  • Annual family giving of at least $10,000
Now that you are aware why you haven't been surveyed on this topic, let's take a look at what the young and wealthy value. Here's where small nonprofits have some opportunities. What jumped out to me was this concept:  
"These donors want to get in the trenches and want to be seen as more than just a checkbook. They want to know the organizations they’re supporting, the staff, board and constituents."
This led me to ask two questions: (1) Do we have opportunities for a donor or potential donor to meaningfully engage in our work? When they leave can they tell our story? (2) Do our donors know us?Recently I made a note to myself regarding our approach to e-community: "More personal. More of us. Are we their friend?" When we are planning our communication pieces we look for opportunities to add the faces of our staff, board, clients, and donors. Is there a person who could tell this story better than an anonymous editor? If so, make the abstract (in our case democratizing philanthropy) concrete by showing the faces of our philanthropists.
This is a time for building two-way relationships with donors so they see themselves (not just their dollars) as an essential part of your work. As personal values begin to eclipse family values in philanthropy, small nonprofits can focus on creating cost-effective, replicable opportunities to spend more time working alongside our donors. Instead of being more work, it can be a different way to approach your work. At every opportunity, let you donors get to know you - not just your work - in a more personal way.