Top Philanthropic Trends

Top Philanthropic Trends

May 29th, 2014

by Angela White 

 

On May 20th, JGA had the privilege to join the AFP-Indiana Chapter to host Stacy Palmer, Editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, to celebrate JGA’s 20th anniversary . Stacy presented a national perspective on philanthropic trends to the crowd of philanthropy professionals and foundation leaders. Stacy outlined the following trends that present opportunities and challenges for all of us working in philanthropy:

 

  1. Role of Government: We cannot take for granted the charitable deduction and must keep a watchful eye on this important deduction and not take it for granted. The charitable deduction is a part of the bigger conversation about the role of government in the United States.
  2. Measurement and Performance:  It is important to move from measuring overhead to measuring outcomes and performance.  This continues to be a controversial topic as nonprofits debate what results should and can be measured , including how we measure the cost of changing lives.
  3. Beyond Donations: Several states are now offering social impact bonds and The Nature Conservancy is offering conservation notes –   both of these vehicles offer investment returns to donors as an investment vehicle beyond making a pure donation to a nonprofit.
  4. Professional Leadership and Talent:  The turnover of fundraising professionals and tensions between the CEO and the CDO make it difficult to retain good talent and to grow the next generation of fundraising professionals.  In addition, the fundraising profession struggles to mirror the changing face of America and those we serve.
  5. Anger over Nonprofit Salaries:  Federal and state regulators are going after $1M+ nonprofit salaries and considering actions to cap salaries. At the same time, both charities and donors are demanding that salaries be tied to results.
  6. Use of Charitable Gifts :  Many issues have arisen in the public’s mind around published lists that highlight the “best and worst” charities.  Several watchdog groups capture the public’s attention despite the manner in which these groups calculate return and impact. In addition, “effective altruism” is an emerging trend, led by young entrepreneurial donors that base contributions on the biggest “bang for the buck.”

 

These six trends paint the landscape for our work and give us much to consider as we move into the second half of 2014. At JGA, we believe understanding the broader philanthropic arena is key to both effective giving and receiving.

 

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