Trends Impacting Philanthropy in 2017

2016 was a great year for philanthropy, breaking previous records and continuing to grow. Though the nonprofit sector is dwarfed by business and government, philanthropy has continued to gain traction as more and more self-starters are deciding to give back.

We can’t say for sure how the sector will change throughout the year, but we have a few guesses as to the trends that you can expect in 2017.

Philanthropy Becomes More Mainstream

Up until recently, philanthropy has generally been seen as something for the wealthy — with the spectacle of large donations and even larger checks to back this notion up.

Now, this paradigm is changing. It’s becoming easier than ever for individuals to donate and know where their donation is going. New generations have become more aware of social issues and are passionate about solving them. This alone has driven many millennials to try to make an impact — and these microdonations can collectively have a significant impact on the sector as a whole.

Impact Investing Improves

Impact investing, the practice of making investments for social and environmental gain in addition to earning money, has created a massive reserve of capital for many foundations.

The intention to gain a positive ROI is still there, but in addition to a desire to create lasting change. Expect impact investment to continue to grow throughout 2017.

Technology Changes Nonprofits

With philanthropy becoming more mainstream and younger individuals making smaller donations, nonprofit organizations will have to leverage changing technology and improve their marketing practices to stand out in the figurative crowd.

Individuals are more willing to give when they perceive an organization as being authentic, and updating obsolete marketing methods may be the best way to get through and effectively spread a message.

Women Step Up Giving

Another notable trend in philanthropy is the initiative that women have taken when it comes to giving. Women currently control more than half of the U.S’s private wealth, and that number is expected to continue growing.

Both large donations from individuals and the rise of women’s funding networks have encouraged more and more women to engage in charitable giving.

Tech Philanthropy Continues to Grow

As philanthropy becomes increasingly trendy among individuals with resources, individuals that have earned their wealth through technology are joining in. With some big names such as Jeff Bezos making large donations, it’s expected that more and more Silicon Valley tech magnates will step up in the near future.


Originally published at lloydclaycomb.org.