Millennials — those Americans born from 1980 to 2000 — represent the future of philanthropy, and nonprofits must to adapt to them, three young San Diego social activists said Wednesday.
“The old ways of giving back are just not enough,” said Winnie Xu of Giventure, a company developing a mobile app to help Millennials volunteer in their communities. “Nonprofit doesn’t mean you can’t have a cool business model.”
The UC San Diego senior said it is important for nonprofits to experiment with new techniques for raising money and involving people, even that increases of the possibility of making a mistake.
Xu and two other innovators in philanthropy spoke to more than 75 people at the picturesque Scripps Cottage on the San Diego State University Campus. The event was part of the San Diego Foundation‘s Future40 series exploring new ideas in philanthropy.
“As Millennials, it is our time to step up to create solutions,” said Nate Howard, founder of the Movement BE, a nonprofit organization that helps young people discover their story through spoken word poetry.
“If you don’t know who your are, someone’s going to tell you who you are,” he said, explaining his challenges growing up in southeast San Diego where friends were involved in gang violence.
Howard said direct involvement in philanthropy is crucial, especially with young people who need mentors. “I need people not just to give money, but to give time,” he said.
Macy Olivas, executive director of the Patricia & Christopher Weil Foundation, said the students aided by her foundation have the potential to give back throughout their lives. She recommend that nonprofits build networks of people they have helped.
“Philanthropy and scholarship giving is a two-way street,” she noted.
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