Retaining the Next Generation

A new generation entering the field of philanthropy brings new blood, new energy and new ideas. While it may feel hard to make room at the table for leaders with fewer years of experience, members of Generations X and Y have a greater understanding of today’s global and connected world; their know-how and skills can benefit a foundation’s grantmaking and communications.

from The Huffington Post:

Who’s in Charge Here? Retaining the Next Generation in Philanthropy

Baby boomers are hanging on, and next generation leaders are waiting – and waiting – their turn.

According to Trading Power, produced in partnership with the Council on Foundations, Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies’ 21/64, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and Resource Generation, this is the first time in history that society is experiencing a delay in leadership transition, as people live longer and retire later. The economic recession has further delayed retirement plans, leaving baby boomers in positions that even they expected to have left by now. And some seasoned leaders are turning to a model of “leadership expansion” rather than “leadership transfer,” sharing leadership duties with younger employees. Some retain an executive emeritus role. Others take a sabbatical while potential successors serve in “acting” capacities.

In each instance, the elder leader needs to respect new ideas coming from his or her younger partner, according to the report. If the philanthropic sector fails to tap the next generation’s skills and knowledge, the emerging leaders will simply move on to sectors that will.

Trading Power: 18 interviews with philanthropic leaders who talk about what the next generation has to offer in exchange for what seasoned leaders can provide is available as a pdf to download.