A New Era of Giving: Top ways to engage the next generation

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The landscape of charitable giving changes with the generations, each one poised to redefine philanthropy uniquely from the next. With a digital-native upbringing, global interconnectivity and a focus on sustainability and resiliency, this next generation has a voice that, although different from its elders, is no less passionate. According to a 2023 survey, more than half (51%) of Gen Z say they have given financially to charitable organizations while 61% the next-youngest generation, Millennials, are already on par with their older counterparts when it comes to charitable giving, with Gen X ringing in at 58% and Boomers at 64%.

However, engaging with this younger generation is much more nuanced than in the past, as charitable organizations must not only consider the face-to-face of yesteryears, but also the rise in technology and social platforms in schools and the public sector. We’ve researched some ways to help catalyze these emerging donors and bolster giving channels for the future.


Connect the younger generation to seasoned board members or trusted advisors. Mentorship is a great way to give younger philanthropists a seat at the table with their older counterparts.

Collective Giving

Younger donors don’t generally have the capital of traditional donors, but establishing a “giving circle” allows youth and students to collectively discuss issues and make more impactful change with their unified gifts.


Educate the next generation in your foundation’s history, strategies and investment practices. Or, put philanthropy at the forefront by establishing partnerships to design high school or college educational curriculum around philanthropic history, trends in social justice and giving in the modern world.

Bridging the Gap

Gen Z is a very vocal generation. Encourage open communication by giving them a platform to be heard and an avenue to activate.


One of the best ways to build your staffing pipeline is to create internship opportunities for the next generation. Many colleges even have avenues for youth to get class credit for their work.

Creating Control

Empower the next generation by allowing them to make discretionary grants. The funding flexibility will allow them the control to align their giving with their values.

Pivot Your Focus

Look beyond asks for treasure and establish opportunities for the next generation to give their time, something they’re likely to have more of. The experience as a volunteer or committee member can add to a greater interest in philanthropy.


Foster hands-on involvement by inviting the next generation to visit your site so they can experience first-hand the work of your organization and be inspired by the people it serves.

Build Their Network

Connect your young donors with those from other organizations. Just as you network to benefit your charity, so will they learn to create symbiotic relationships between organizations and reinforce the philanthropic web.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Be the first to establish the relationship. Hire younger generations to provide skills they excel at, like social media or video production. Or, fund grants for them to attend philanthropy workshops and conferences. These small investments can parlay into additional exposure for your organization as they become part of the next generation’s experience portfolios.

By Lindsey Gast-Pessia