When you take a look at the breakdown of givers, the numbers tell an interesting story. Baby Boomers make up 43% of givers, while Generation X makes up 20% and Millennials 11%. It seems clear that age correlates with generosity, and younger givers appear to be behind. Undoubtedly, younger individuals and families have more expenses – from student loan debt to child care – and are also less established in their careers. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are likely past most of these expenses, leaving them with more disposable income to give.
While it’s easy to attribute the generational drop-offs to age (and some can surely be attributed to age) there are additional factors, like lack of education on the matter. Younger generations may also be giving in other ways, such as giving their time to causes. No matter the reasoning, the best way to learn about giving is through demonstration. At Christian Community Foundation, our family of givers is comprised of people spanning a wide range of ages. And, we believe that giving isn’t about the amount of money you can contribute, it’s about establishing a practice of generosity. What we can say firmly is this – giving is a learned behavior, and our youngest givers do so because they learned the behavior from people they love.
As a foundation centered on helping others find ways to donate to causes they care about, we aim to provide all routes necessary to help you help others. These efforts are made to aid organizations right in our own backyard. And what better way to help following generations learn about helping our community than through the help of family? We want to bring that spark of helping others back to life – and strategic giving starts with education.
That’s why we’ve created the NexGen Fund. This donor-advised fund was created to start conversations on giving in your family. With the help of more established generations, younger people can learn the values of giving at any age. While most funds require a minimum investment to be established (which is intimidating to some younger donors), NexGen has no such requirement. You or a family member can create a fund in another’s name, and upon access to their own funds, the mentee can continue to give and distribute. Creating a trickle-down effect can help improve your family’s knowledge on giving to those in need. This is a plan of action waiting for family members following in your footsteps.
Creating this type of fund allows future generations to distribute it to organizations in need. Why is this important? Because at the center of Christian faith, giving is the ministry of God at work. We are called to keep hope alive, and we can’t do it without you!