How The Next Generation of Wealth Is Revolutionizing Philanthropy As We Know It

The next generation of inherited or self-made wealth is being scrutinized and pressured to give bigger, earlier and more efficiently than ever before. And rather than measuring success based on the number of digits connected to a bank account, many of today’s next gen philanthropists also believe that with this great wealth often comes great responsibility.

John Kluge, Co-Founder of Eirene, Bill Drayton, Chairman & CEO of Ashoka, Katherine Lorenz, President, Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, and Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, Founder of SV2 and Chair of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society exemplify this spirit. 

We brought together these dynamic leaders at the inaugural Forbes 400 Summit On Philanthropy to learn how they’re revolutionizing the future of philanthropy. Each champions diverse causes, from sanitation issues to malnutrition in rural Mexico, with decidedly different insights and perspectives on how to tackle the world’s most intractable problems – and each defines philanthropy and their role as a change agent through unique points of view that belie traditional stereotypes of “the 1%.”

As our dynamic conversation underscores, the next generation’s approach to philanthropy is dramatically different than that of their grandparents and parents. What’s more, philanthropy extends far beyond just writing a check or lending your name to a charity.

These individuals have dedicated their lives to harnessing the venture capital mindset in order to ensure the success of their charitable giving. It’s a mindset that recognizes we can make philanthropy and charitable giving much more impactful by looking for efficiencies and, just as we do in business, seeking higher returns on investment, whether those returns be in the form of money, time, or personal fulfillment.

Each spoke candidly about their successes and failures in the area of giving in ways that we can learn from our shared experiences – mitigate risks of failure – and implement a multiplier effect that will send ripples of positive impacts far beyond the initial contribution.

Kluge, Lorenz, Drayton and Arrillaga-Andreeson serve as extraordinary resources whose insights and perspectives empower each of us as philanthropists, fueling either greater success in the work we do now or hope to do in the future. The conversation is a powerful reminder that the “next generation” has opportunity, unlike any other group in a century, to make a real difference with our shared wealth. We all possess the ability to impact the world in profound and meaningful ways. We all have the ability to identify a void or a need, and then devise a product or a service to fill it.

So what defines the future of philanthropy? It’s about finding new, effective, and quantifiable ways to change the lives of people in need. It’s about finding tools that help us measure success and impact. And as these panelists exemplify, it’s about changing the world. 

Read More and View Video: How The Next Generation of Wealth Is Revolutionizing Philanthropy As We Know It


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