Who We Are
Generous Generation is a sophisticated Giving Circle made up of young philanthropists in their 20s and 30s, and alumni philanthropists 40 and over. The goal of this group is to promote a philanthropic lifestyle to a new generation of givers by creating social, professional and relevant philanthropic experiences.
Generous Generation meets year-round for monthly socials, grantmaking meetings, and large fundraising events.
The way it works is members in their 20s and 30s pay $30 per month into the fund. That money goes, 100%, straight to nonprofits who have applied for grants. Alumni (40+) pay a minimum of $30 per month to grow the fund, and support the Generous Generation.
Why Generous Generation Matters to Me
When did we turn away from the giving model? Throughout history, giving back was instilled into our values as humans. We needed to help each other just to survive. We began as hunter/gather and agricultural societies who survived on trade. We made sure our neighbors had food, water, shelter, and basic needs were met. We looked after one another. Throughout history, society was taught tithing as a way of life. Money was collected as a regular “bill” of sorts to help those less fortunate in our societies. Throughout the twentieth century, we have had struggles in every generation: during the great depression people were assisting their neighbors and sharing limited resources. Post war families reconnected with their loved ones who survived, and shared sorrows at all of our tragic losses, and as a whole, we supported each other to move past that difficult time. In the sixties and seventies, we came together as humans to support movements of equality and justice.
What happened to our generations of the 90’s and 00’s? When did we lose touch with giving back – both time and money? As the millennial generation, we haven’t had a collective movement that will shape history. We were part of the technology movement, which will forever shape history in the way that we interact with each other. While these technological advances have improved our quality of life, we didn’t collectively help change the social environment of our world as our predecessors have. I say this as a product of this generation. I missed the learning experience of giving back to a greater good. Sure I volunteered as a teen and in college, and I have given small sums of money here and there, but as a way of life, I have not thought of giving back on a consistent basis, only when a need presents itself. Thinking about it now, it almost shames me that I am not doing more.
Sure, as a whole, we can talk about those who volunteer, those who donate their life savings to charities when they pass away, and those larger-than-life millionaires that give millions of dollars to life saving efforts in both this country and abroad. But when did we lose the value of everyday people giving back small amounts? Small amounts pooled together can create a big impact in our community. The concept of a giving circle is based off of this principle. It is working in small, rural villages throughout the world, it works in the form of micro-loans, and it works too here in our community. Generous Generation is based off this giving circle model and I think it is important in Austin for two reasons:
- It provides a community for millennials that supports the giving model. Generous Generation is set-up to purposely create a dialog and instill stewardship of our community. It brings back the giving model to a whole generation who may not have grown up with the concept of giving and the reasons why it is so very important. Giving through Generous Generation allows members to have a voice in what issues are important to us and to give back accordingly.
- Generous Generation allows us to pool meager resources together to actually make a difference. While $360 may not provide much of a resource for bigger programs, if 100 people came together and each contributed $1 a day, we now have $36,000 to achieve a goal which can change lives.
When I first met Joshua, the Executive Director for Generous Generation, I could see how important this movement really is. He has given every fiber in his being to supporting the mission of this organization. Though he himself is living below the poverty line, he wants to help those who are even less fortunate than himself. Seeing that force inside of him at work really allowed me to reflect on my comfy lifestyle, and make a change in how I can impact those around me. I am proud to have recently become a member of Generous Generation and look forward to the community around us getting back to the tradition of a culture of helping and giving. I look forward to changing my own culture and doing more for my community.
– An Anonymous New GG Member