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Module 3: Unit 2

Developing your philanthropic identity

Do you see yourself as a traditional philanthropist or are you more of a social entrepreneur? What’s the difference?

Consider these resources as you begin to shape your vision of your role in philanthropy.


Read (10 minutes)
Why give: Information for next gen donors Read this special information sheet for answers to commonly asked questions from Next Gen Donors including: What is a giving circle? How can it help me? How much are my peers giving? Why should I start now?
Read (90+ minutes)
How to be an everyday philanthropist: 330 ways to make a difference in your home, community, and world - at no cost! ($$) This handbook acts as a resource guide, a call to action, and offers concrete, direct ideas for making a difference and starting to find your philanthropic identity.
Read (90+ minutes)
The promise of a pencil: How an ordinary person can create extraordinary change ($$) This New York Times bestseller shares the story of a “young man who built more than 250 schools around the world—and the steps anyone can take to lead a successful and significant life.”
Read (90+ minutes)
Do more than give: The 6 practices of donors who change the world ($$) This best-selling book by Leslie Crutchfield, John Kania and Mark Kramer of FSG Social Impact Advisors shares examples of donors who are active and dynamic participants in social change efforts.
Tune-in (60 minutes)
Creating your own giving identity: Tools and tips for next gen philanthropists Watch this webinar that features two individuals who survived and thrived as next gen board members. Hear their views and learn some tools and tips on the important discussion of next gen in family philanthropy.
Tune-in (60 minutes)
Family philanthropy: Cultivating and learning from next gen leaders Watch this webinar to review the findings from a special study on how next gen donors view their family's giving legacy and how families can respond in productive ways that advance the future of family giving.
Do (20 minutes)

Find your passionComplete the "Find Your Passion" worksheet from Giving Circles Fund

Completing the activity: Complete this special worksheet that provides questions for Next Gen Donors to consider, including:

  • Who has helped you in the past?
  • How have you helped, in ways other than giving money, in the past?
  • Do you currently donate money? What causes have you supported in the past?
  • Why do you give? Have you had any life experience that have shaped the causes you feel strongest about supporting?
Do (30 minutes)

Passion- TPI logoReflect on your own philanthropic values

Completing the activity: The following questions, developed by The Philanthropic Initiative and shared in their guide, "Passion: Discovering the meaning in Your philanthropy," can serve as a helpfu catalyst for reflecting on your personal values and the relationship of those values to your charitable giving.

List 3-5 formative experiences in your life. How did they shape your core values:



List 3 people (they could be people you know or historic figures) who have been strong influences on you. What values did they transmit to you?

Do (90+ minutes)

inspired-philanthropyCreate your own personal giving plan ($$)

Completing the activity: Use the tools from Inspired Philanthropy to help you create a plan for your personal giving and legacy. Inspired Philanthropy explains how to make a difference by creating giving and legacy plans, tells what questions to ask nonprofits, and spells out how to help partner with advisors and nonprofit leaders for inspired outcomes.

Do (90+ minutes)

next-gen-diverse-leaders-young-adultsConnect with Next Gen Peers and nonprofits in your community

Completing the activity: Participate in a next generation fellowship or training program, such as those offered by Exponent Philanthropy, community foundations such as the Greater Houston Community Foundation; or the Council of Michigan Foundations. These programs offer structured learning opportunities for young adults, usually between the ages of 18-35, through speakers, trainings, site visits and facilitated giving exercises.

Sometimes jumping into a project is the best way to shape your giving interests. is one of the largest global organizations for young people focused on social change. With more than 3.8 million members, it is an online resource for volunteer activism and campaigns on targeted issues.