Philanthropy holds immense promise in the 21st century, on both a consumer and business level. Across the world. giving is growing, gaining visibility and adapting to the changing lifestyle of the 21st consumer. As ever, the internet, media and the increased sophistication of the financial systems, has meant that there are more ways to give than ever and the consumer has increasing exposure to the effect their dollars can have. Following, we’ve outlined five trends that are redefining Philanthropy in 2019.
Not only is big data driving the choices and decisions of the large philanthropists, but tech has made a massive impact for consumers. “We have seen a rise in crowdfunding and peer-to-peer funding,” stated Una Osili, professor of economics and philanthropic studies at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Tech allows donors to personalise their giving, whilst also offering a visibility ‘halo.’ Tech has also become a critical tool for fundraisers, allowing campaigns to meet with the interests of donors and harness peer-to-peer fundraising strategies.
Generational shifts continue to be the major forces in giving. Philanthropy, at large, very much reflects social trends and contemporary mores. Non Profits are quickly realising that the Millennial worldview is distinct from that of Baby Boomers – they see giving through a more global, sociall responsible and inclusive purview. Growing up in a more interconnected world, they’re also more responsive to smart tech and conscious marketing. On the other hand, Gen Z, true digital natives, will expect to communicate by mobile and expect short, decisive – but socially conscious – messaging.
In the past, charities and philanthropic organisations have been critized for their lack of transparency. Donors today are are more proactive about asking about where their money is going and what it’s being used to do. As in Impact investing, due diligence has become de rigeur with donors who are now willing to investigate a charity’s governance policies and how donor funds are used. There are also a number of online resources which facilitate this visibility.
Paul Schervish, professor emeritus and retired director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College says the impact of mega-wealthy donors cannot be overstated. “We’re going to continue to find that the top one-half of 1% will be giving about 30% of all the charitable dollars,” he says. No longer hiding in the shadows, these uber-wealthy donors, such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg, are affecting real change in healthcare, poverty and education. Closer to home, the mega-rich are increasingly standing behind large donations, covering arts, education and health.
Women have had an outsized effect in philanthropy for decades and this impact will continue in following years. Women’s and girl’s issue are still at the forefront, thanks largely to the attentions of high profile individuals. And woman are proven to be more effective donation seekers: Research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) noted hat when people believe that others are interested in giving to women’s and girl’s causes, women and men are statistically more likely to make contributions themselves.