E150 - Young Givers: The Giving Needs of The Future Wealthy with Lisa Rose and Vic Thrift
Updated: Jul 22
I’ve been a volunteer and donor for my entire life since uni and been involved in the charity sector for my whole life in various different ways. And so there are things that I assume that people understand when I speak which is not true, I’m speaking in a jargon that’s just not normal in the rest of the world. It has shown how much the charity sector has failed to communicate how important it is, what it really does and how it does it.” - Lisa Rose
In this episode we speak to Lisa Rose, Philanthropy Programme Manager at The Beacon Collaborative and Vic Thrift, Director at Wealth. We discuss the giving needs of the future wealthy, their relationship with philanthropy and how to more meaningfully engage with young donors.
Lisa and Vic have collaborated on ‘The Giving Needs of the Future Wealthy’ report, which explores how charities generally have little understanding on how the next generation wealthy want to be seen differently. The report will help charities to increase their donor base and the size of individual giving.
Lisa and Vic explored what matters to the next generation of wealthy donors. They found that young wealth donors are inherently generous people, but didn’t know enough about the third sector.
Key myths and misconceptions about next generation high earners (and potential donors of the future) and how charities can more meaningfully engage with this audience
This part of Lisa and Vic’s research examined what charities think really matters to young wealthy donors vs what actually matters to them.
Myth: (From charities perspective) it was believed that systemic change would be driving force for this audience
Reality: They are aware of social issues and want a fairer society, but their donations seem to be driven by changing one life at a time, having a local and more immediate impact
Myth: Data, hard numbers and understanding on a data level is really important
Reality: Storytelling is more compelling and they want to hear what happened as a result of fundraising
Myth: Innovation captures the attention of younger donors
Reality: Technology plays an important role in storytelling, but the tech innovation they’re interested in is aggregating where they’re personally donating and their volunteering time.
Myth: This audience would like to be more ethical, for example through the financial services and products they purchase
Reality: Charity is another thing they do, it’s not part of their identity. They do care about problems in society but their giving feels unconnected, it is not strategic
Myth: Campaigning is important to them
Reality: They perceive donations as an uncomfortable topic because this opens the door to questions such as ‘how much do you earn?’, personal finances and talking about money. They support activism movements but they have a traditional conservative view, that it’s different from donations. They’re happy to talk about a fundraising event they’ve done, but they don’t feel comfortable sharing details about the charity
Vic and Lisa compiled a list of key actions charities can do to better engage young givers.
List of 10 major things charities can action and engage with this donor base
1. Focus on things closer to home: local areas, children and young people and health
2. Language was not a thing that was completely understood - in a corporate world they use impact in a very different way, for example
3. Try to meet them in the middle or choose the language to make it more understandable for the donor. This could make a difference and help you to develop a long-term relationship
4. Situate the local and global. Charities need to explain how their work sits in the wider civil society and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
5. People aren’t prepared to speak out. Young donors prefer to speak about fundraising rather than giving. Create peer circles of young people who may encourage each other to get involved in giving and fundraising
6. Better equip fundraisers to help them understand what the charity does. Often they have an emotional link to fundraising, but they should also understand information such as the charity’s vision, mission and programmes
7. You need to be innovative with fundraising ideas. People have fatigue towards sponsoring people for bake sales and charity runs
8. How your charity engages with volunteers. Volunteering was seen by young donors as something incredibly difficult and something you have to deeply engage with, whereas donoring is something you can do in the queue at the supermarket, by sending a donation text. Therefore charities need to look at volunteering in a different way, for people who are very intelligent but time-poor
9. Workplaces are really important, so there is space for charities to work with businesses to set up initiatives such as matched giving
10. Start working together with businesses to reach people earlier in their donor journey. If we put in some effort now, it will bear fruit in future.
How the pandemic has affected giving for this donor group
Millennials have realised how lucky they are during pandemic, generating empathy as they realise they too could have been affected. Therefore young donors have been giving to hardship funds, as they understand that the position the beneficiaries find themselves in, is not through their own fault.
In the first wave of lockdown, women and young people had an emotional response and their donations spiked, but overall men generally donated more, and more regularly. This data could reflect an emotional reaction and uncertainty around their personal finances, but now they realise they’re in a safe place, men generally have been more generous with donations.
See the full report here: https://www.beaconcollaborative.org.uk/young-givers-the-giving-needs-of-the-future-wealthy/
We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.
This episode is brought to you by our platinum sponsor Charity People.
Related episodes that you may be interested in:
E114: The Changing World of Philanthropy with Keith Kibirango -
E110: Philanthropy - From Aristotle to Zuckerberg with Paul Vallely -
E104: Philanthropy - COVID-19 and Beyond with Paul Gillespie -