Retirement

How different generations approach philanthropy


Each generation grows up in its own context. And that context influences everything about people: their views on social norms, the way they communicate—and even how they practice philanthropy.

That’s crucial to understanding how to work on your family’s philanthropic initiatives with several generations at once.

Four generations, many interests

Your family’s philanthropic efforts may span four generations, each with its own unique world view:

  • The silent generation, born between the mid-1920s and the mid-1940s
  • Baby boomers, born between the mid-1940s and the mid-1960s
  • Generation X, born between the mid-1960s and the early 1980s
  • Millennials, born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s

The “silent generation” and “baby boomers,” having grown up during wartime, are likely to support veterans’ issues. “Silents” also give more to religious organizations than later generations. The decline in religious giving among younger generations corresponds to a decline in individuals’ interest in organized religion, according to Sobel & Co.’s Generational Differences in Philanthropic Giving.

Both “gen Xers” and millennials grew up with revolutionary technology, connecting them to worlds beyond their own. These generations are likely to support international causes and human rights, and have a greater appreciation than their elders for progressive social issues, such as LGBTQ rights and gender and racial equality. Millennials are also the largest and most diverse generation of the four.

Different definitions of success

Different generations may have different reasons to give—and different criteria for success.

Millennials see philanthropy as a way to express their identities. Their top reason for giving is to “support a mission or cause that I believe in and that fits with my personal values,” according to NEXUS, a global network of young philanthropists and social entrepreneurs.

Silents and baby boomers feel they make the biggest difference through funding: 45% of boomers say their financial contribution is key, whereas only 36% of gen Xers and 25% of millennials feel the same, according the Sobel & Co. research. Instead, those generations place more importance on volunteering and spreading the word.

Gen Xers and millennials are more likely to evaluate their success based on evidence of their gifts’ social impact. Younger generations are more interested in contributing beyond money, NEXUS says—they want to use their time, networks, talents and skills to make a difference.

Social media, social responsibility

Millennials are driving other changes as well. With social media a dominant force in their lives, they are far more comfortable than past generations with being transparent in their giving and including peers in their efforts.

Millennials tend to want to align their work and values more closely than prior generations have, and they are far more likely to support brands and products that create a positive impact.

While millennials and gen Xers aren’t solely responsible for the rise of corporate social responsibility initiatives, impact investing and social enterprises, their enthusiasm for these approaches is increasingly encouraging their families to consider these new forms of social impact in their own philanthropy and business strategies.

The largest transfer of wealth

Baby boomers comprise the largest donor group, accounting for 42% of all charitable giving, according to a 2016 survey published by the Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact. However, baby boomers are expected to transfer roughly $30 trillion in assets to subsequent generations, giving their children and grandchildren increasing control over how to distribute wealth.

It’s in your family’s best interests to determine how to reconcile generational differences to create a philanthropic strategy that can evolve and thrive—and how to structure the mechanics and operations of your family’s philanthropy.

An operation built to last

Managing your family’s philanthropy among multiple generations raises a range of operational issues to consider:

  • Which family members are interested in philanthropy? Not everyone necessarily wants to participate. The degree to which individuals get involved may reflect their stage in life. You may also want to have an outsider manage the family philanthropy instead of mandating participation from family members.
  • What’s the right giving vehicle? Is it the right time to set up new vehicles, such as donor-advised funds, trusts or a family foundation? Before creating these structures, make sure every participating family member understands the time and resources it will take to support them.
  • How will family members be involved in staffing decisions? Different structures require different choices, such as which provider to use or who to hire to manage a foundation. Think through and communicate who gets a voice in making those decisions.
  • What’s the governance structure? Similar to the above, make sure you’re clear about which family members have decision-making authority, and if that will change over time. Be open and transparent to ensure the whole family has clear expectations.
  • How will you manage publicity? Foundations and other vehicles may make a family’s giving publicly visible. Think about the degree of scrutiny your family may face, especially if you have a large family supporting many causes. Do you have a family spokesperson? Do you need a consistent message about your family’s giving philosophy and mission?
  • What’s the transition plan? As with other aspects of your life, it’s prudent to communicate a clear succession plan to those involved.

Navigating generational differences and working through these conversations will take patience, understanding and trust. But doing so improves the odds that future generations will remain thoughtful stewards of your family’s legacy, wealth and philanthropy.

To learn more about how you can optimize your strategy for giving, please contact your J.P. Morgan advisor.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Purpose of This Material

This material is for information purposes only. The information provided may inform you of certain products and services offered by J.P. Morgan’s wealth management businesses, part of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPM”).  The views and strategies described in the material may not be suitable for all investors and are subject to risks. This material is confidential and intended for your personal use. It should not be circulated to or used by any other person, or duplicated for non-personal use, without our permission. Please read this Important Information in its entirety.

Non-Reliance

We believe the information contained in this material to be reliable and have sought to take reasonable care in its preparation; however, we do not represent or warrant its accuracy, reliability or completeness, or accept any liability for any loss or damage (whether direct or indirect) arising out of the use of all or any part of this material. We do not make any representation or warranty with regard to any computations, graphs, tables, diagrams or commentary in this material which are provided for illustration/reference purposes only. The views, opinions, estimates and strategies expressed in it constitute our judgment based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. We assume no duty to update any information in this material in the event that such information changes. Views, opinions, estimates and strategies expressed herein may differ from those expressed by other areas of JPM, view expressed for other purposes or in other contexts, and this materials should not be regarded as a research report. Any projected results and risks are based solely on hypothetical examples cited, and actual results and risks will vary depending on specific circumstances. Forward looking statements should not be considered as guarantees or predictions of future events. Investors may get back less than they invested, and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

Risks, Considerations and Additional Information

There may be different or additional factors which are not reflected in this material, but which may impact on a client’s portfolio or investment decision. The information contained in this material is intended as general market commentary and should not be relied upon in isolation for the purpose of making an investment decision. Nothing in this document shall be construed as giving rise to any duty of care owed to, or advisory relationship with, you or any third party. Nothing in this document is intended to constitute a representation that any investment strategy or product is suitable for you.  You should consider carefully whether any products and strategies discussed are suitable for your needs, and to obtain additional information prior to making an investment decision. Nothing in this document shall be regarded as an offer, solicitation, recommendation or advice (whether financial, accounting, legal, tax or other) given by JPM and/or its officers or employees, irrespective of whether or not such communication was given at your request. JPM and its affiliates and employees do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any financial transactions.  Contact your J.P. Morgan representative for additional information concerning your personal investment goals. You should be aware of the general and specific risks relevant to the matters discussed in the material. You will independently, without any reliance on JPM, make your own judgment and decision with respect to any investment referenced in this material.

J.P. Morgan may hold a position for itself or our other clients which may not be consistent with the information, opinions, estimates, investment strategies or views expressed in this document.  JPM or its affiliates may hold a position or act as market maker in the financial instruments of any issuer discussed herein or act as an underwriter, placement agent, advisor or lender to such issuer.

References in this report to “J.P. Morgan” are to JPM, its subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. 

© 2018 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved

Retirement

Check the background of Our Firm and Investment Professionals on FINRA's BrokerCheck

 

This website is for informational purposes only, and not an offer, recommendation or solicitation of any product, strategy service or transaction. Any views, strategies or products discussed on this site may not be appropriate or suitable for all individuals and are subject to risks. Prior to making any investment or financial decisions, an investor should seek individualized advice from a personal financial, legal, tax and other professional advisors that take into account all of the particular facts and circumstances of an investor's own situation. 

This website provides information about the brokerage and investment advisory services provided by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (“JPMS”). When JPMS acts as a broker-dealer, a client's relationship with us and our duties to the client will be different in some important ways than a client's relationship with us and our duties to the client when we are acting as an investment advisor. A client should carefully read the agreements and disclosures received (including our Form ADV disclosure brochure, if and when applicable) in connection with our provision of services for important information about the capacity in which we will be acting.

INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: • NOT FDIC INSURED • NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY • NOT A DEPOSIT OR OTHER OBLIGATION OF, OR GUARANTEED BY, JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A. OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES • SUBJECT TO INVESTMENT RISKS, INCLUDING POSSIBLE LOSS OF THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT INVESTED
Equal Housing Opportunity logo

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank N.A., Member FDIC Not a commitment to lend. All extensions of credit are subject to credit approval 

“J.P. Morgan Securities” is a brand name for a wealth management business conducted by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPMC”) and its subsidiaries worldwide. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and its affiliates (collectively “JPMCB”) offer investment products, which may include bank managed accounts and custody, as part of its trust and fiduciary services. Other investment products and services, such as brokerage and advisory accounts, are offered through J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (“JPMS”), a member of FINRA and SIPC. Annuities are made available through Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. (CIA), a licensed insurance agency, doing business as Chase Insurance Agency Services, Inc. in Florida. JPMCB, JPMS and CIA are affiliated companies under the common control of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Products not available in all states.

Please read additional Important Information in conjunction with these pages.