Global annual philanthropic giving today is estimated at over 1 trillion US dollars. What happens next? Discover the seven critical trends shaping the future of philanthropy.
The stark poverty in England’s industrial revolution: In historical terms, philanthropy was a response to these inequalities. By philanthropy, we mean a strategic, long-term approach to giving for social and environmental issues.
Today, social and environmental concerns remain at the heart of philanthropic endeavours. But new fields of activity are becoming more important, and in many areas, the practice of philanthropy is becoming ever more sophisticated. Wealthy families are recognizing the advantages of having professional philanthropy advisors to help guide them through the myriad choices they face, and ensure they can maximise the positive impact of their wealth.
Philanthropy isn't static. It is growing and evolving as the range of areas in focus expands in line with social and environmental changes. Based on their extensive combined expertise of over 65 years and their connections across the globe, the LGT team advising on philanthropy expects the following seven trends to shape the future of giving.
Increased collaboration: Collaborative philanthropy is on the rise, especially co-funding and pooled funds. Collaboration, and the synergies that come with it, allows for greater impact and shared accountability among funders. Since more than half the world’s foundations hold less than USD 1 million in assets, collaboration is an attractive way to increase effectiveness – although it requires time and effort, and needs to be resourced accordingly.
Commenting on the trend towards systems-changing philanthropy, Katherine Milligan, a Director at the Collective Change Lab, added that she sees this as one of the most important trends for the next decade. “There are many more discussions now about systems change philanthropy, and generally it’s not about whether or not we should, but rather about where we can have the greatest leverage.”
A social entrepreneurship expert with a distinguished career in foundation and non-profit executive management, she has published several articles and publications on social innovation, impact investing, and systems change, advocating for more transformational ways of working together for systemic solutions to social problems.
While philanthropy has traditionally been seen as a unidirectional endeavour, it’s increasingly recognised that philanthropy can have an impact not just on the recipients, but also on the donors who want to be part of the solution. A philanthropic project involving several generations can be a real asset, bringing families together and offering a blueprint for other family matters, such as succession planning.
While the nuances of philanthropy keep evolving, the intrinsic benefit it bestows on those who engage in it remains a constant. So whatever industry trends may come and go, it's comforting to know that some things will always stay the same.