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During the last decade, the world of philanthropy experienced many changes across the board. In addition to the results of the 2016 election which prompted democratic voters to donate more to causes dear to their hearts, the rise of donor-advised funds, crowdfunding, impact investing and more has never been more prevalent. Also, a new class of billionaire givers has emerged on the scene, shaking up traditional fundraising soliciting and reporting. In 2020 and beyond, fundraising professionals expect these changes to continue and new ones to develop as well.

 

Big Philanthropy vs. Small Philanthropy

 

In the 2010s, the combined wealth of the Forbes 400 rose from $1.3 trillion to $3 trillion, and there is a strong possibility that these numbers will keep growing. With such stable finances, much of these assets will be in the hands of philanthropists who will donate. One philanthropic prediction is that significant gifts and grantmaking will most likely increase during this new decade. Meanwhile, small philanthropy will go in the opposite direction. Because of financial insecurity among ordinary Americans, many U.S. households will continue to cut down on the causes that they support financially. It has been reported that 40 percent of Americans would not be able to come up with $400 for an emergency. This indicates that former small donors may have their hands full with other concerns, preventing them from donating to even causes that they are passionate about supporting.

 

Increase in Public-Private Partnerships

 

In the 2020s, philanthropy will work more closely with the government and business. As public institutions rarely often the stability required for financial security, more nonprofits will look for support from private funders. Additionally, businesses will continue to find the need to define their social value and philanthropic impact to their employees.

 

Scandals Yet to Come

 

Every year billions of dollars come through the doors of nonprofits. Additionally, billions are sheltered every year tax-free in charitable vehicles. As charitable oversight is usually not treated with the urgency as in other areas by federal and state, this allows many cases of abuse to fly under the radar. In this upcoming decade, more investigations will turn up with the rise of wealthy philanthropists interested in understanding the impact of their dollar.