News & Press: Shared Intelligence

Your 2015 Giving Forecast

Monday, December 15, 2014   (0 Comments)

Stacey WeddingBy Stacey Wedding, Founder & Chief Strategist of Professionals in Philanthropy

The economy is recovering. Philanthropy is evolving. And sustainable nonprofits are responding.

Gone are the days of checkbook philanthropy, as our communities welcome a new generation of donors and a new donor mindset for all ages following the recession. When considering where giving has been and where it is headed, donors (over 62% of whom are women*) will be guided by the following:

  • Strategy (What is my goal as a company or individual, and how will my giving help me get there? How do I give of my time, expertise, tangible goods as well as my money for the biggest impact? Where is the charity headed, and do I want to be a part of their plan for the future?)
  • Outcomes (How are my charitable investments put to use and what is the end result? How do I streamline and focus my giving to make bigger impact with limited resources in the causes I care about most?)
  • Collaboration (What other like-minded individuals can I partner with so I can enjoy bigger bang for my buck? How do I give toward a larger cause rather than funding the infrastructure of several competing nonprofits?)
  • Vision (In what big ideas and thoughtful concepts can I invest? What calculated risks can I make with my charitable investments that will result in notable social returns if successful?)
  • Self-Expression (What do the charities I support say about me, and how do I use social media to share with my circles of influence what my favorite charities are up to?)

*based on a June 2014 article by Huffington Post

Taking donor thinking a step further, below are a few giving trends we’ll see in 2015.

Giving Trend #1: Simplified Giving through Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) – DAFs will continue to grow in size and popularity, especially given the simplicity and streamlined approach they offer. More organizations will offer DAFs, and more donors will embrace this type of giving. The world of charitable giving is becoming increasingly complex, and donors are looking for ways to simplify in all parts of their lives. DAFs will be the solution for donors of all sizes who are increasingly overwhelmed in an age of information overload and limited time.

DAFs provide an immediate tax deduction and buy donors time to make their charitable decisions (technically recommendations, in DAF land) at a later date. Many organizations that offer DAFs provide resources, community knowledge and connections to assist donors who want to make more informed, educated charitable investments. And for the majority of donors who already know where they want to give but don’t care to handle the administration and multiple distributions themselves, DAFs provide an efficient, cost-effective alternative.

Giving Trend #2: Engaged Philanthropy - Millennials are changing philanthropy and will continue to do so. Countless studies have shown that individuals in their 20s and 30s are highly engaged in charity. They are not passive givers but rather full contact givers. Before they give, they want to connect with organizations in an authentic way—through hands-on volunteer work, crowd funding, social media, and networking to name a few. In response to this trend, several nonprofits are finding ways to engage young people—some even younger than Millennial age—in meaningful ways. Examples include invitations to governing boards, youth-only boards, and age-centric giving circles or societies, to name a few. One other item of note is the large influence Millennials have on their peers. Millennials trust the opinions of their peers more than any other source, and social media is their primary vehicle to do this.

Giving Trend #3: Technology as a Way to Connect – No surprise here. Technology plays a major role in all of our lives, and philanthropy is no different. Time-limited call-to-actions using technology will continue to drive giving by the more casual donors. Mobile friendly websites are a must, and nonprofits will continue to increase their exposure to new audiences through social media. Online giving days (locally as well as the more global “Giving Tuesday” focus) will grow in size and scope, bringing back the fun of giving through friendly competition and prizes for the giver as well as his/her nonprofit.

2015 brings with it much promise—more proverbial sun than rain in the world of giving and more individuals finding ways to live a blended life where they do well while doing good.

Author: Stacey Wedding, Founder & Chief Strategist at Professionals in Philanthropy.

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