Inspiring Conversations Affirm Shared Values and Giving

Can a Polish-born great-grandmother who escaped Nazi Germany share common values with her "Generation Z" great-grandson who grew up on video games in a post-9/11 United States? Recently some philanthropically-minded individuals, couples and families gathered for an intimate learning experience with guest speaker Danielle Oristian York, of 21/64, to discuss the different--and common--values of various generations, especially when it comes to their charitable giving. 

First, guests engaged in an interactive activity to explore the values of various generations, inspiring laughter and more than a little confusion. Is the "Greatest Generation" miserly? Are "Baby Boomers" idealistic? Will "Generation X" put down their phones? And do "Millennials" lack respect for authority? Despite such differences, participants were surprised to notice a pattern of commonly-held values across generations as well.

Attendees then chose from 30 "Motivational Values" cards the top three values that drive their decision-making. Values like: Compassion, Freedom, Faith and Loyalty. Guests then shared one-on-one what their top values were and why. Such thoughtful and honest conversations are key to connecting across generations and aligning philanthropy with one's values.

Co-chaired by Susan Epstein, a Cabinet Member of the Jewish Foundation of Austin & Central Texas, and Evan Smith, a member of the Foundation's Board of Governors, "Inspiring Conversations" was a program of the Austin Community Foundation and the Jewish Foundation of Austin & Central Texas. This was the first of a planned series of educational and social events for the Foundation's fundholders.