Young philanthropists want to get their hands dirty to help the causes they believe in, according to the authors of a new book on philanthropy.

Millennials and Gen Xers have a different approach to philanthropy than previous generations, according to Sharna Goldseker and Michael Moody, philanthropy consultants and authors of Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving.

“Millennials and Gen Xers will be the most significant givers in history. Wealth is being transferred and new wealth is being created,” Moody said. “Financial advisors and non-profits need to explore the goals of these new generations.

“They are concerned about the same issues as previous generations, but they want to change how we address those problems,” he added.

For instance, the new generations want to fight poverty, Goldseker explained. “That is not new, but they want to get involved locally. They want to have a greater impact and they are not just investing money but giving their skills, too. Younger philanthropists are not just writing checks but are thinking about how their assets are invested.”

“In educational giving, the older generation will give a grant to a large institution to develop a charter school or fund a large institution with a national reach,” Moody explained. “In contrast, the younger givers will role up their sleeves to find a new debt strategy for a school or will look for a for-profit organization that is doing good work.

“The next generation believes you have to do things locally to move the needle on a problem,” he added.

Non-profit organizations can use this knowledge to get closer to the next generation of philanthropist and build more candid relationships with them. Younger donors want to bring their skills to the table and engage deeply, but that requires nonprofits to allow these people to actually do something, Moody said.

In order to help young and old philanthropists fulfill their goals, advisors need to know how to help them target their giving, according to two other authors.

William Meehan and Kim Jonker, authors of Engine of Impact, said ways exist to help clients make sure their donations are having the maximum impact.

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