Five Trends on the Philanthropic Horizon

Crystal BallNext Friday November 21 I will be giving a webinar for Philanthropy Ohio predicting five trends that are likely to affect your philanthropic practice in the next few years. Click here to register! I will write a blog about each trend in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned.

In the meantime I would love to hear your predictions for philanthropy. What trends are seeing? What predictions do you make for 2015 or 2020? Please post them in the comment section below and I will share them in a future blog post.

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7 thoughts on “Five Trends on the Philanthropic Horizon”

  1. In the wake of the last election, I can’t help but dwell on the growing rift between left and right. I believe that in 2015, more foundations will venture into providing support for advocacy organizations (which is good), but may also begin to see themselves becoming polarized along political lines (which is bad). By 2020, I believe that a foundation’s role of convenor and safe space for discussion may be more important than ever. Political rifts are occurring at the national and state levels, but fixing them will be entirely local.

    1. Betsey, thanks so much for posting this. I couldn’t agree with you more. Luckily I think foundations, especially community foundations, are well positioned to do this.

  2. I predict that we will see a new model of collaboration and public-private partnerships evolve where social issue are prioritized collaboratively and solutions are co-designed by all that are involved. More rigorous evaluation and metrics also a part of this.

    1. Thanks Michael. I would love to hear your thoughts on what you would like to see that is “new”. Do you mean more “collective impact” type of approaches? Any examples where you think this has been done well?

  3. I predict that the role of philanthropy, particularly the role of community foundations, will continue to evolve as community anchor institutions. Businesses that were once considered anchor institutions and their leadership are increasingly rare, with continued rapid increases in personal and corporate mobility, corporate restructuring, and less personal connections with the communities they serve. A new era of trusted institutions that are permanently grounded to a particular community will have increasing opportunities and responsibility for community engagement and leadership. Whether and how we will react to those opportunities will be decisions made community by community.

  4. Over the next few years, I think there will be an explosion in the number of foundations that actively engage in “mission-related investment,” which in simple terms means investing all or part of a foundation endowment in companies or organizations whose work advances their program objectives. F.B. Heron Foundation has been leading the charge, but some of the mechanisms they are helping put in place or popularizing will, I believe, become appealing for others.

    I also think foundations will help engineer an increase in mergers between small- and medium-sized nonprofits, and will encourage smaller, struggling nonprofits to close their door, either directly or indirectly by establishing incentives for doing so.

    And, I think five years from now, nearly every foundation will have a “social impact designer” and a “data analyst” on their staff, though I put them in quotes as they will likely be called something different.

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