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Next-gens interested in social change, not just profit

Almost half of wealthy next-gens think that campaigning for social change is as important as making money, new research has found.

Almost half of wealthy next-gens think that campaigning for social change is as important as making money, new research has found.

According to a study for the Charities Aid Foundation, a UK-based organisation that provides financial services to charities, 42% of next-gens believed social change was as important as profit, compared with only 26% of those over the age of 45.

Catherine Tillotson, one of the report’s authors, told CampdenFB that the younger generation was more sensitive to global problems. "The younger generation [has] grown up in a much more globalised environment than the over 45s. They have been more exposed to global problems than the older generation – environmental and rich/poor themes play strongly to them," she said.

Called Catalysts for Change, the report was based on a survey by research group Scorpio Partnership of more 2,400 people under the age of 30 or older than 45 years old. The respondents came from 98 countries and had an average net worth of more than £1.5 million (€1.8 million).

The research also found that 65% of  young wealthy people rated charitable activities, such as investing in social enterprises in developing countries, as an important part of their wealth creation. This was compared to 58% for those over 45s.

According to Tillotson, this is dependant on the fact that next-gens don’t think in terms of geographical borders. “[The younger generation] don’t see boundaries in the same way. They have friends living and working around the world, they have travelled and their social networks are international,” she said.

“By contrast, older people grew up in an environment where charity at home versus charity abroad was an active debate and often a conscious philanthropic choice."

However, she added that one of the interviewees for the research had an alternative view: "[He reckoned] the internet means younger people are much more aware of what it means to have a personal profile on display. They are therefore more conscious about projecting a personal and professional image that has a strong sense of social responsibility.” 

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