Next Gen Donors

The Giving Season is Upon Us

October 26, 2017

We’re entering the giving season. People tend to give more at this time of year and nonprofit organizations tend to receive more donations in the final months of the year. Why is this?

The clients I’ve worked with are usually inspired to give for myriad reasons other than a tax deduction. So, why do people wait until the end of the year to give? Is it because they’re being asked more at this time of year? How can we change that? How can we be more proactive about our giving? How can we give throughout the year in thoughtful ways?

I hope you’ll join me in an exploration of your giving at one of my upcoming workshops designed to help you create your own vision for giving. You’ll be inspired to give in ways that are most aligned with your values. See below for more details.

Wishing you a joyful giving season and hoping it lasts throughout the year!

Deborah Goldstein

Creating Your Vision for Giving 

The end of the year is just around the corner. And you’re probably already being inundated by requests for donations. How do you decide? How do you avoid feeling overwhelmed by these requests?

Try being more thoughtful about your giving! Create your OWN vision for giving.

In this interactive workshop, I’ll guide participants in:

  • articulating your values
  • identifying your interests
  • picturing your legacy

Register today and enlighten your giving!

I’m pleased to offer this workshop on October 30th, November 27th, and December 10th at Sacred Money Studios and Prosperity Pie Shoppe in Multnomah Village. This lively space is “a place where people gather and practice being in flourishing relationship with money through coaching, classes, community events and best of all, pie!” If you’re local, but not able to join me, be sure to check out this great community resource.


Looking for a Few Good Women

Are you part of a book club, investment group, dinner club, alumni group, or some other collection of awesome women in the Portland area? Are you looking for another way to engage with your friends? Let’s explore giving together!

I’d love to bring Philanthropy Camp for Women to you. Contact me today to schedule!

Do you belong to one of these groups with your spouse/partner and other couples? I’m open to creating a Philanthropy Camp experience that works for you too! Let’s talk.


Resource Highlight—Generation Impact

In the newly released Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors are Revolutionizing Giving, colleagues Sharna Goldseker and Michael Moody reveal the ambitions of Gen X and Millennial givers. These donors have financial resources far out pacing what we’ve seen before. And they have grand plans for how they’ll achieve impact and make a difference now, not when they retire. Take some time to read about these revolutionary givers. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing a lot more about them in the years ahead.



Vol. 2, Issue 2

Summer vacation…the time of year everyone looks forward to. What are you doing this year? Traveling to some far off exotic location? Or staying home and taking advantage of the sights in your own community?

Whatever you do, I hope you’ll think about how you can make a difference. As you may recall, last summer I spent time in Nicaragua, working with two nonprofit organizations to save endangered sea turtles. Several of the young philanthropists I’ve interviewed have talked about the importance of international travel. Their trips to Nicaragua and Bosnia have been life-changing experiences.

Recently, I enjoyed a vacation on Maui and was happy to spend time swimming with turtles as I snorkeled through the coral reefs. I was also pleasantly surprised to see giving all around me. First, my friend and I discovered several local nonprofits when we attended the Earth Day Festival. Another day we saw youth restoring the local beach habitat. And on our final night, we attended a benefit dance to support the local hospitality association.

No matter where you find yourself, there’s always a chance to give. You can bring pencils to the schoolchildren in the remote village you are visiting (see Resource Highlight below for a review of The Promise of a Pencil). You can take time out to pick up trash at the beach or help with a restoration project. Or enjoy shopping at the local farmer’s market or art gallery. I hope you’ll keep an eye out for these opportunities—all of these actions make a difference.

Have a great summer!

Deborah Goldstein



Celebrating Philanthropy Camp for Women!

In April, we wrapped up the inaugural Philanthropy Camp for Women. Women from diverse backgrounds and career paths listened, interacted, and shared their passions for giving back.

Here are just a few of the things they had to say:

“This was a fantastic experience. Each session was chock filled with fun exercises, and special conversations. I felt that I learned a lot, but even more, I developed some ideas, BIG potential plans, met some fun women, and so much more. Put this down as a ‘must do’ for next time it is offered.”
~ Estate planning and tax attorney

“I’m so totally engrossed in the conversations we are having and what I am seeing and learning, I forget to stop and notice what a wonderful job you do in making it all happen. I haven’t felt this engaged in years. What a great, great program!”
~ Certified Public Accountant

“I thought the class was one of the best continuing personal education classes I’ve taken. We had a small group of wonderful women who shared openly, which made the class very informative and eye opening to new perspectives on philanthropy.”
~ Freelance graphic designer/Product developer

I am grateful for our journey together.

Like to learn more about the experience? Listen in as I talk about the Moments of Enlightenment from Philanthropy Camp for Women (recording from Purposeful Planning Institute teleconference in April).

Stay tuned for the announcement of fall dates.

Advisors, interested in offering Philanthropy Camp for Women for your clients? This is a great way to open the door to the philanthropic conversation. Contact me for more details.

quatrefoils-lineWhat is 21/64?

Years ago a colleague told me to check out 21/64. When I did, I found that they train philanthropic advisors like myself. At the time I thought, “some day I’ll take advantage of this opportunity.”

When I decided to focus on multi-generational giving, especially next gen, a couple years later, I knew that it was time to invest in their training.

To learn how this training has impacted my work…read more.


Resource Highlight–Fun Summer Reads!

Are you looking for something fun to read this summer? Do you want to be inspired too? I recommend two great books to take with you on your summer vacation.

The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change, by Adam Braun

Nearing his 25th birthday, Adam Braun started Pencils of Promise by depositing $25 in a bank account. As he says, “The biggest of dreams often start with small, unreasonable acts. Most people would have thought that it was crazy to start with the minimum amount, but I wanted to prove that you could start something big no matter how small you begin.” And he’s proven just that. Almost six years later, this for-purpose organization has built more than 200 schools around the world, providing education in communities that had no infrastructure.

The Promise of a Pencil is the inspiring story, outlined with 30 guiding mantras, of how Adam and a growing network of volunteers and advocates helped launch a movement. Throughout the book, Adam shares his personal journey and his encounters with the individuals who have helped shape who he is today. It is a compelling read.

Start Something That Matters, by Blake Mycoskie

Blake Mycoskie, chief shoe giver of TOMS, delivers an easy, fun read in his book, Start Something That Matters. He highlights his experience with TOMS along with that of other innovative organizations that are making a difference in the world. One of the key messages of the book is—we don’t have to wait to do good or to give back. As the book jacket says, “You can find profit, passion, and meaning all at once—right now.”

Blake’s intention is that his book will “be the catalyst of many more organizations and projects making a positive impact on the world.” To support this desire, Blake shares inspiration throughout the pages and challenges each of us to start something that matters. He outlines six simple keys that will help us do just that. What will you start?

For a longer review, visit

Happy reading!


21/64 and Me and You

June 26, 2014

21/64 logoYears ago a colleague told me to check out 21/64. When I did, I found that they train philanthropic advisors like myself. At the time I thought, “some day I’ll take advantage of this opportunity.”

When I decided to focus on multi-generational giving, especially next gen, a couple years later, I knew that it was time to invest in their training. 21/64 is a leader in the field of multi-generation family philanthropy and has worked with the next gen for over a decade. Of all the potential professional development opportunities, this training was the most tailored to the next steps I wanted to take with my business.

21/64 Training

“Some day” finally came last year. I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. Who would I meet? What would I learn? Would this investment be worth it?

By the time we got to lunch on the first day, I knew my investment was going to pay off. The two-day training blew me away. Everything about it was top-notch—from the expert facilitators to my fellow colleagues who joined me on this journey.

We experienced each new tool for ourselves before discussing how we’d use it with our clients. So, when I facilitate a family or a group meeting, I know what it’s like to take time and think about my values and make the tough decisions to prioritize them. I know it’s not easy. And I know that within us, we each have the answers.

Exploring the next gen donor and generational differences in giving

Exploring the next gen donor and generational differences in giving

I’d been hearing about generational differences in recent years at fundraising conferences. However, it wasn’t until we reviewed the associated traits and values of each generation, that the personalities started to come to life for me. Now this is one of my favorite tools to facilitate. We each interact with multiple generations on a daily basis, so understanding how and why we’re different can help explain a lot. The major world events that occurred during our formative years shape who we are and how we interact in the world.

It makes sense that I’d have this revelation while training with an organization that has chosen a name that represents the four generations over the age of 21 who are now engaging in philanthropy. Twenty-one-year-olds are coming of age and beginning to explore their philanthropic identity, if they haven’t already. And 64-year-olds are starting to think about their legacy, their impact in the world. Everyone in between these ages, and above and below them, can engage in philanthropy. Now I better understand what motivates each generation’s giving.

21/64 Tools

21/64 Tools

I could go on and on about each well-researched and tested tool. I was so excited to fill up my toolbox! The nerves were fading away and I was enjoying learning alongside other advisors in the field, whether independent or with community foundations or giving circles.

This was, by far, the best professional development experience of my career. We closed by sharing one take-away from our time together. For me, it was validation that my process for working with families was solid. Now I had more “meat on the bones” to support our work together.

I’ve taken this experience and integrated what I’ve learned into everything I do—creating Philanthropy Camp for Women, engaging audiences when I speak, and working with families and teens.

Taking it to the Next Level

In the year or so since my training, I took it upon myself to meet with fellow trainers around the country—San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver. I wanted to understand how they were making the most of the tools. It felt great to connect with this small, select group of people, to talk one-on-one about our experience and how it can help philanthropic families. I felt proud to call myself a 21/64-certified consultant.

A couple of these conversations with colleagues in the Bay Area sparked an idea—let’s create a local group. Our first trainers gathering was this spring. For someone who works independently, it’s a treat to gather with like-minded individuals. I was pleased to receive positive feedback about the idea and look forward to the sharing, learning, and growing we can all do as we support one another moving forward.

This spring, I also chose to invest once again in the alumni training.

I returned to New York a different person than I was a year ago. More confident, I walked into the conference room excited to see colleagues from my initial training and one-on-one meetings. We all were more relaxed. We knew what to expect this time around—another incredible opportunity to learn about ourselves as we explore how to best support the philanthropic endeavors of our clients.

This time around, the focus was family systems and family dynamics. See what I mean when I say “learning about ourselves”? Discussing topics like these lends to a lot of self-reflection. Again, by experiencing activities first for ourselves, we become better equipped to navigate the sometimes challenging family dynamics we face when working with clients.

On a lighter note, we also explored how to incorporate play into our work with families. I’m especially excited to integrate this element into my experiences with the next gen. We rarely take time to play and yet it can be such a valuable tool. We seem to have forgotten this lesson from our childhood.

I left the second training with a sense of fulfillment and a desire to keep the momentum alive with my local colleagues.

And, I want to continue to put these tools to work for YOU. How can I help YOU find meaningful ways to give back and make a difference?


Sahar and a young Bosnian girl (Photo courtesy of Sahar Afrakhan)

Sahar and a young Bosnian girl (Photo courtesy of Sahar Afrakhan)

Watch out Berkeley! Here comes Sahar Afrakhan, a proud member of the class of 2018! This young woman is passionate about giving back. I had the pleasure of meeting Sahar last spring when she participated on a panel I moderated on engaging the next generation in philanthropy. Her poise and passion inspired everyone in the room. Maybe some of her thoughts on philanthropy will inspire you.

Deborah: How do you define philanthropy for yourself? And how are you engaging in philanthropy? Who are you engaging in philanthropy with?

Sahar: Service and philanthropy have always been naturally a part of my life. I’ve never thought about what philanthropy means to me because I’ve taken it for granted (its role in my life). My parents have just raised me with the idea that giving back and opening your eyes to something bigger than yourself is part of the recipe for success and a way to further one’s education. Since I’ve become involved with philanthropy I’ve worked with children from ages 4-16, I’ve spoken to adults about how to get the youth involved, [and] I’ve spent a lot of time with members of other family foundations that are under 18 and getting hands-on experience. It’s really cool to see a group of people so dedicated to the same project, like YPC (Youth Philanthropy Connect).

D: Who influences you in your philanthropy?

S: Again, my parents were the initial push for my interest in the philanthropic field and working with NGOs, etc. but I’ve really been inspired by a multitude of mentors. My social justice teacher at school, Mrs Levine, has been phenomenally helpful and so supportive in planning my trip to Bosnia last summer, where a friend and I conducted a multiethnic summer camp for children. Additionally, Anita Roehrick, my first official advisor/mentor with Positive Impulse (PI), who pushed her daughter Miranda, and then us, to truly take charge of our passions and the work we wanted to complete. Nobody held our hand with PI and I always value those experiences—struggling and failing a few times is much better than getting it right the first try—in terms of a learning process and developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. Lastly, everyone I’ve met through YPC—you, Dana Marcus, Annie Hernandez—continue to push us one step further with our ideas and turning them into concrete, feasible tasks.

D: How have you learned about philanthropy?

S: I didn’t even know what the word philanthropy meant until a couple years ago. I’ve never thought of it as something I needed to dive deeply into defining it or analyzing its role in my life. That would ruin the fun for me and make it feel like a job rather than a free flowing passion. What I’ve learned from philanthropy doesn’t come from a book or a dictionary, rather it’s a cumulative of my experiences so far.

Sahar and a young Bosnian boy (Photo courtesy of Sahar Afrakhan)

Sahar and a young Bosnian boy (Photo courtesy of Sahar Afrakhan)

D: Tell me more about your trip to Bosnia last summer.

S: I went to Bosnia with two of my friends to conduct a multiethnic summer camp in a town called Vares. We did it for about 10 days from 8-1 PM every day and had crafts, games, sports—just generic summer camp games, but the important part was that it was multiethnic.

D: What inspired you to go?

S: My friend is Bosnian and fled the war when she was born with her mom as a refugee. Her dad died in the war before she war born, and through her, I learned a lot about the war and thought it would be good to go over summer. Our school set up a summer camp program in Vares, but didn’t go last year so we took the initiative and went instead.

D: What was the most surprising thing about your experience?

S: How comfortable it was. We had our own apartment and met a bunch of kids in the town our age so we had people to hang out with after camp and they even helped us control the hyper little boys. I made friends that I still talk to on Facebook. It was kind of homey in the town.

D: How do you think this opportunity differed from your past philanthropic experiences?

S: It was the first time I was unmoderated. I had no adults, no supervisors. I was by myself in a pretty foreign, poor country. It was my first philanthropic, abroad experience. I loved the independence. I loved being in charge of myself and my decisions. And the camp was a success. It was the first year we had heard back that the local people weren’t annoyed with the Americans, which usually consists of a teacher and a group of students. So we were really excited to hear that.

D: How has this experience inspired your thinking about philanthropy?

S: It emphasized the importance of going out and away from your comfortable space and exploring other parts of the world and cultures. I think philanthropy is more than an act of kindness or a new English school in Africa. I believe it’s more about a curiosity and an openness to learning about how you can benefit the community around you, rather than “knowing” how to fix things. Typically I hear that service projects actually teach you more than you can give them, and I’ve found it to be true.

D: What is your philanthropic dream?

S: I think it would be really great to get teenagers really excited about philanthropy. A lot of my friends are busy with their own day to day lives and have the bigger world as the last thing on their minds, but if philanthropy could become a part of childhood and growing up and learning to channel compassion into action, the world might become a better place.

And this is one of many reasons why I like Sahar…We share the same philanthropic dream! Can you help us make it come true?


Last fall I had the opportunity to facilitate a conversation with a group of Girl Scouts who were preparing to work on their Gold Award, the highest honor they can achieve. We talked about what philanthropy meant to them and I led them through an activity to help them think about the impact they want to make in the community.

Rachel Bend

Rachel Bend

One of the young women I met was Rachel Bend, a senior at Monterey High School. She caught my eye again when I saw her on the news promoting the Girl Scouts One Warm Coat Drive over the holiday season. Rachel has been in the Girl Scouts for 10 years and plans to continue as an adult scout to help younger scouts and start new troops. We sat down this week for an interview.

Deborah: How do you define philanthropy?

Rachel: Giving because you want to, not because you have to. Doing it because it makes you feel good.

D: Tell me about the different ways you’re involved in philanthropy.

R: I try to volunteer as much as possible. I help with my orchestra on weekends and doing my Gold Award project with my music program. So far I’ve gotten 30 hours of volunteer work and I still have 10-20 hours to go.

D: Tell me more about your Gold Award project.

R: I am organizing all the music in the Monterey High band room—finding out what we have and don’t have and putting it on computers for them to use in the future. [Students] will be able to check out music like in a library and teachers will know what they have and don’t have. Usually students will take the music and won’t give it back and the teacher forgets to collect it. By putting it on the computer, it’s a more accurate way to find what’s missing and who has what.

D: Tell me more about what the Gold Award means to you.

R: It’s a step up into the real world. This is the final stage of Girl Scouts. I still get help from my mom and teachers, but it’s mainly me working on it. It makes me feel good to do something for my school that also helps my Gold Award.

D: Anyone else you volunteer with?

R: I’ll volunteer sometimes with the SPCA when I have time. I’ll drive out to Salinas and clean pens, take dogs out for walks, and play with the cats, get them exercise. It’s all stuff that I like. I also help with the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Getting to drive a golf cart and possibly see celebrities is pretty fun.

Rachel buying coats at Old Navy for the One Warm Coat Drive

Rachel buying coats at Old Navy for the One Warm Coat Drive (Photo courtesy of Laurie Bend)

D: I saw you around the holiday season on TV. Tell me more about the One Warm Coat Drive.

R: It’s a coat drive for adults and kids, a local event. All coats collected stay in the community. They don’t go to San Francisco or Oakland. They stay here and in Salinas. First we take them to Country Club Cleaners and they clean the coats. Then they distribute them to Dorothy’s Place in Salinas and the Boys and Girls Club in Seaside.

D: How many coats did you collect this year?

R: 1,394

D: That’s incredible. Have you done this before?

R: Yes, I think this is my eighth or ninth year doing it. Last year we collected 1,165 coats.

D: Are they mostly new coats or are people bringing new coats?

R: It’s a variety. Some people buy coats. One time this lady went into Macy’s and she came out with a brand new $100 coat and donated it. There was another time a couple years ago that a guy was walking by and he gave us the jacket off his back. This year my mom got a grant for $500 from Salinas Valley Business Women’s Network and we were able to purchase 26 coats ranging from children to adult [sizes].

D: It’s inspiring to see someone walk by and take the coat off his back isn’t it?

R: Yes, and it was a nice leather coat too. It was a big bulky leather jacket.

D: Who are you engaging in your philanthropy with?

R: Usually it’s either my mom or my friends. Next week, my friend Ciara and I are going to Pebble Beach to help with the Pro-Am. My friend Nick is helping with the music program at my school. I don’t usually do it alone. I have some friends go with me.

D: Who initiates the volunteering?

R: Usually it’s me saying, “Hey, do you want to come?” And they say, “Yeah, why not?” We usually end up having a fun time and saying, “We should do that next year.” Like the Jazz Festival, I do that with my friends Ciara and Melisse and Sarah every year. We have a contest to see who can sell more programs.

D: What do you do with your mom? Is it different from what you do with your friends?

R: I usually go to the SPCA with my mom. She likes helping too. I usually do the SPCA and beach clean ups with her.

D: Who would you say influences you in your philanthropy?

R: My mom. She does a lot of volunteering. She recently volunteered her time to talk to my art portfolio class about her career as a graphic designer. I thought that was really cool.

D: That’s a great example of philanthropy. Not everyone thinks about that, however it’s a great way to give time. All parents can come talk to their kid’s classes. How else would you say your mom influences you?

R: She has her drive to go and do something. If she’s given a project to do she works non-stop until it’s done.

D: What are the skills or strengths that you bring to your giving?

R: I am a leader. With my Gold Award project, this was all leadership. I had to put together the dates. I had to talk with my teacher about doing it and I had to get people to volunteer. And if they didn’t show up when they said they would, I got on the phone and asked where they were. I’m pretty straightforward. I ask people, “Why aren’t you here when you said you would be?”

D: Tell me more about what you like best about giving?

R: It’s the feeling of being able to help someone who needs it the most. They may not even realize they need it until you help them. At the SPCA, they have so many pets and so much to clean. Just being able to say that I can do a load or two of wash for the dogs’ blankets. Or I can clean a couple pens. It helps the staff because they don’t always have time to do that.

D: Any other ways that giving makes you feel?

R: Tired.

D: Why?

R: Because you’re doing a lot of work. It’s good in the end because you get to work and then you get tired and then you get to sleep well.

D: If you could fulfill a philanthropic dream, what would it be?

R: To go to other schools and help them with their music programs and help them organize. I’d love to go to other schools to do that because I know my school isn’t the only one to have lost music.

I was so impressed by the numerous volunteer opportunities that Rachel has engaged in over the years. It also struck me that at 17 she has found something she’s passionate about—music. She’s now been playing the cello for five years. And she has this desire to give back to an organization that’s provided her so much—Girl Scouts. She’s got a bright future ahead!


I Have a Dream…

January 22, 2014

When I woke up Monday morning, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I realized that I too have a dream. I was inspired by the plethora of Martin Luther King, Jr. quotations making their rounds on the Internet and the conversations I’ve been having with people recently about philanthropy (see my last post). I was also inspired by the essay of a colleague’s son about his dream for our world. Remember the days of the classroom writing prompts? For example, write an essay sharing your dream with the world.

And so, I thought I’d share my dream.

I have a dream…that one day people of every age, race, religion, sexual orientation, and nationality embrace philanthropy. That they own the word. They will come to find that all the other words we use—volunteering, giving, social action, social justice, service, service learning, community service—are actions of philanthropy. No matter how small the gesture or large the gift, acting from a place of love for your fellow human beings IS philanthropy.

I have a dream…that our society defines philanthropy from this broader perspective and embraces all who are bold enough to dream with me. That people will gather with me and others who truly believe that everyone can be a philanthropist.

Philanthropy is for you and me. It is for the nine-year old boy who doesn’t believe he can save a life until he sees that his talents can raise money to operate a neo-natal intensive care unit. It is for the 90-year old woman who talks with her grandchildren about the importance of giving and how that has been a driving force in the family’s business for generations. It is for the person who always thinks she is on the receiving end and has nothing to give. And it is for the teenager who is just embarking on an exploration of how he can make a difference in this world. We can all be philanthropists, in our own ways.

I have a dream…that as we engage in philanthropy, we engage from our core values, from deep down in our heart. We take time to examine our values, whether it is freedom, community, equity, family, integrity. Or maybe it’s innovation, happiness, or personal growth. Whatever our values are, may we learn to connect with them in a way that allows us to express them to the world through giving of our time, talent, treasure, or ties. And in so doing, we come to find our own meaning in the word philanthropy.

I have a dream…that one day, we will all be philanthi-have-a-dreamropists.

What is your dream? Please feel free to share in the comments below.


Simple-LifeDid you miss my radio debut this weekend? Now’s your chance to hear what you missed. I had such fun talking with the host of Simple Life, Cynthia Fernandes. She had some insightful questions, which led to an enlightening conversation!

We covered a lot of ground in our short time together on the air—from my work with philanthropic families to the simple acts of philanthropy we all can do to what our society would be like if we don’t give to some of my favorite books! I love talking with people about philanthropy because I often hear a new perspective. This was no exception. Take some time to listen here.


Five years ago this month, I launched what became Enlightened Philanthropy! It has been an incredible journey—one that continues to delight and challenge while also allowing me to grow personally and professionally. I am grateful for the friends and family who have been with me as I take each new step, my mentors and coaches who have believed in me, my supportive colleagues who have encouraged my professional growth and development, and my clients who have engaged and challenged me.

As I mark this special occasion—the five year anniversary of Enlightened Philanthropy—I want to take a moment to thank you for your support. THANK YOU!

Deborah Goldstein


Special Announcement: Three New Presentations from Enlightened Philanthropy!

And now for the special announcement I promised in the last issue of the newsletter. Due to popular demand, I’m proud to announce three new presentations that I’m now offering:

If your group, or a group you know of, is looking for speakers please let me know. I’m happy to talk with Rotary Clubs, professional groups, study groups, religious groups, donors, and families. I’d love to connect and share more about these topics.

Dreams Really Do Come True

Deborah with hawksbill hatchling

Deborah with hawksbill hatchling

For years, as my friends and family can attest, I have been dreaming of volunteering with a sea turtle conservation organization. When I turned 40 last year, I decided it was finally time to make this dream come true. It did. In a BIG way. Read more about my trip to Nicaragua this past summer…


Due to popular demand, I’m proud to announce three new presentations that I’m now offering–Next Gen Donors: New Voices of Philanthropy, From 5 to 105: We Can All Be Philanthropists!, and Philanthropy: A Fresh Perspective.

Brief Description:

In this interactive presentation, I’ll introduce audiences to Next Gen Donors—who they are and how they are revolutionizing philanthropy. I’ll also provide context for how these donors build upon what they have learned from the generations that come before them, while shaping their own philanthropic identities. Together, the group will explore the differences in the four generations that are currently engaging in philanthropy.

45 minute * 90 minute * Keynote, Workshop, or Interview format available

Take Aways:

Participants will leave with a better understanding of:

  • Who is the next generation of donors
  • How these donors are engaging in philanthropy
  • How the four generations currently engaging in philanthropy differ
  • How understanding these generational differences can build awareness for families


I find the work Deborah is doing at Enlightened Philanthropy to be more than refreshing. It is clear that this is a world she knows quite well. Her presentation was fresh, informative, interesting and fun. Having worked in the world of philanthropy with high net worth client families and family foundations, I took away some very focused information about the upcoming generation—demographics with new insights and perspectives. Deborah holds the audience’s attention with her style and her wealth of information and is clearly passionate about the work she is doing.”
Joan DiFuria, director and co-founder, Money, Meaning & Choices Institute

If your group, or a group you know of, is looking for speakers please contact me. I’m happy to talk with Rotary Clubs, professional groups, study groups, religious groups, clients, donors, and families. I’d love to connect and share more about these topics.


Authenticity at Work

September 13, 2013

AUTHENTICITY=simultaneously living at the edges and in the center. It’s a rare occurrence that a conference opens with a discussion of authenticity. Well, a business conference that is. While some may have been squirming in their seats, I actually found it refreshing and intriguing. How might this concept apply to my business? How does it apply to my interactions with clients? How does this apply to me, in this moment, sitting at my first Purposeful Planning Collaboration Rendezvous in Broomfield, Colorado? I let Matt Wesley’s words sink in.

Graphic Recording of Authenticity Presentation at Rendezvous

I was intrigued enough to hear more in Matt’s session on The Inner Life of the Advisor, where we took a further look into this idea of authenticity. When we’re at the edges, we’re experiencing love and connection. When we’re centered, we’re in touch with the stillness and our own power. When those all come together—love, connection, stillness, power—are we being our most authentic self? Yes. And when we bring that authenticity to our work with our clients, is our relationship richer? The consensus was, yes.

Reflecting on my own session at the Rendezvous, in collaboration with my colleague, Gena Rotstein of Place2Give and Dexterity Consulting, I realize now that it was coming from a place of authenticity. We opened Gen 2: Who Are They, What Do They Care Most Deeply About and How Are They Reshaping the World of Philanthropy, with a slideshow, a walk through the world events, technological developments, cultural icons, and personal memories that shaped us during our formative years. And just to be sure our audience was awake for the last session of the afternoon, we let Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” take us all down memory lane.

My goal really, was to help my colleagues from the worlds of wealth management, law, family business, and psychology, understand our generational differences, appreciate the perspective the next gen donor brings, and be able to use that new awareness to connect with their clients in a different way. Now I understand that different way is really about authenticity.

Next Gen Donor: Travis

Next Gen Donor: Samantha










When we take time to understand and honor generational differences, can that guide us to a place of authenticity? A place where we are more connected at the edges because of that understanding and yet centered in our own experiences. I think so.

I was honored to be asked to present at the Rendezvous and privileged to guide our packed room through activities that would help them better understand the next generation of donors AND their own generation. And in that interaction with one another, I hope they found their own path to authenticity.

My take away from this experience? Truly, authentic connections with colleagues that I hope we all can use to benefit our clients.

For other take aways from the Rendezvous, please see my colleague’s posts on Dr. Stephen Post’s keynote: Gena Rotstein on the gamification of philanthropy and Bruce DeBoskey on the benefits of giving.