With $8.8 trillion at stake, wooing and educating next-generation donors is becoming a critical priority for Houston nonprofits

EExperts predict a staggering $8.8 trillion in private wealth will be passed on to future generations in the not-too-distant future. If only 5% of this amount, they say, is dedicated to philanthropy, that means more than $440 billion can be allocated to critical investments in our communities.

Training the next generation of donors to become wise stewards of this wealth was the goal when the Greater Houston Community Foundation invited community leaders to participate in a breakfast program to release research on the importance of this formation.

“It’s hard to overstate how vital these emerging next generation donors will be to the future of philanthropy and how crucial it is that we do a better job across the country to help them learn, engage and prosper,” notes Michael Moody. of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and co-author of the study. “Every cause and every community will benefit if these donors become the kind of informed and intentional philanthropic partners we all need.

“That is our goal with this report.”

Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan center and 64/21a New York-based nonprofit organization focused on maximizing multigenerational impact, has partnered with the Greater Houston Community Foundation to conduct the study titled: “Learning from Next Generation Donors: Lessons for Effective Programs from Houston and in the Field”.

Next-generation donors take a step forward

The study was based on the Houston Foundation’s Center for Family Philanthropy and the Next Gen Donor Institute. Chairman of the Foundation Board Chris Weeklypresident of David Weekley Homes, is a graduate of the Next Gen Donor Institute.

“I always knew how lucky I was to have the opportunity and the responsibility to share my resources for a better society, but I needed guidance on how to be thoughtful and effective,” said said Chris Weekley at the rally.

Of her experience with the program, Weekley says, “It taught me some basic things like what to look for in evaluating nonprofit finances, what some of the pressing issues are that I might not have known about, and exposure to new non-profit organizations that are doing great work.

“Getting involved with the Foundation is also a way of helping to make this work a priority in my life by participating in programs, training, site visits, committee meetings and the day of the family philanthropy.

The Roundtable with Michale Moody, Lacey Fluor Goossen, Mandy Kao, Ben Brown, Kelly Hackett (Photo courtesy of Greater Houston Community Foundation)

Four institute graduates — Kelly HackettLacey Fluor Goossen, mandy kao and Ben Brown – were interviewed by Moody during a panel discussion detailing the benefits of the program.

“An important part of our economy and our social fabric, philanthropy is a business, and we cannot afford to be complacent about how it is done,” says Hackett, CEO of Family Office Services for Tectonic Advisors and a Greater Houston Community. Member of the foundation board. “Case studies and impact evaluations like the one the Greater Houston Community Foundation has done with the Johnson Center and 21/64 are essential for the field and for our community.

“As one of the next generation of donors myself, I can attest to the need for ongoing training and access to reliable information and advice.

Since its inception in 1995, the Greater Houston Community Foundation has distributed more than $2 billion in grants.


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