JFCS’ NextGen: Engaging Donors in Our Generation

Every generation has defining characteristics.

Traditionalists are called hard-working. Baby Boomers, goal-oriented. Generation X, independent.

Now, as more Gen Y/Millennials are entering the workforce, there are increased efforts to figure us out. What do we like to do? What do we respond to?

Who are Millennials?

As you might have read on TC Jewfolk and MinnPost, many organizations are reaching out specifically to this generation. Why? Because they see potential in our thirst for knowledge. Hope in our desire to help others. Possibilities in our adaptability.

One organization is starting a new program specifically for young philanthropists.

Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis (JFCS) hopes to tap into the altruism of Millennials while benefiting participants with networking and social perks.

“We have a passionate, dedicated group of young philanthropists on the NextGen Board,” said Jaclyn Grossfield, JFCS NextGen’s president. “We hope to create a program for people to connect and give back. Now we’re working on recruiting individuals to join us in fun social networking and educational events, and volunteer opportunities.”

JFCS NextGen will officially launch in January (see info about the Kick-off Event at Rojo below). The program, which consists of a Fund, Club, and Board, is a chance to build community, connect with other young professionals, and see first-hand how the NextGen Fund helps people of all backgrounds with critical needs.

Judy Halper, Chief Executive Officer at JFCS, says the organization is thrilled to have already seen a lot of interest in the new program, which is viewed as more than benefitting participants and JFCS’s clients. “It’s our pleasure to help prepare the community for the next generation of Jewish leadership,” she says.

NextGen Club members are those ages 21–36 who give at a level starting at $10 a month to the NextGen Fund. In return, they get to attend happy hours, volunteer activities, educational and professional networking events especially for NextGen Club members.

“Keeping the membership cost to about the equivalent of a few cups of coffee a month is important to us, as we hope to attract young individuals who are eager to give back,” Grossfield said. “We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to participate.”

Interested participants should attend the JFCS NextGen Kick-off Event on Thursday, January 19, at Rojo (1602 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park 55416). More details for the event will be made available through NextGen’s Facebook page and JFCS emails.

Contact Zoe Stern ([email protected]) or Sam Kelner ([email protected]) if you’re interested in becoming a part of NextGen.