ASU Lodestar Center
The most frequent question posed on the ASU Lodestar Center's "Ask the Nonprofit Specialists" service is about how to start a nonprofit organization. Recent research by Civic Ventures suggests that there is strong interest and intention among "boomers" (individuals in their 40s, 50s, and 60s) to create jobs for themselves and others as entrepreneurs, making a positive social impact. More than 12 million aspiring entrepreneurs want to be "encore entrepreneurs," by starting a nonprofit or socially oriented business. There is also a growing trend of new nonprofits run by college students. According to Crain's New York Business, "The flood of 'postmillennials' creating their own nonprofits stems from two trends, experts say: a generational desire to do something meaningful and the quest for individualism."
"In a sea of bad economic news, it's heartening that millions of people with experience want to take matters in their own hands and launch their own ventures to meet social needs in their communities," said Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures.
Mark Rosenman, in a blog post titled, "Calling All Boomers: Don't Start More Nonprofits," disagrees with the idea of creating new nonprofits, instead suggesting that "baby boomers shift their social commitment from an ill-advised and self-centered ambition to start a plethora of new enterprises and instead work together, and with others, to build the social, political and economic movement required today."