11 Trends in Philanthropy for 2018

11 Trends in Philanthropy for 2018

The nonprofit sector in the United States employs approximately one in 10 workers in the country, and the field is changing quickly. A group of experts and thought leaders in the nonprofit sector at Grand Valley State University's Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy have examined changes in the field and identified 11 trends in philanthropy they expect to materialize in 2018.

The trends touch on a number of topics, including how philanthropy relates to and will respond to changes in demographics, data, government, diversity and geography, along with what those changes mean to the industry and practice of philanthropy. The full report can be found online at:

The 11 trends, and a brief summary of each include:

1. Giving More by Giving Together: The Johnson Center’s W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair Jason Franklin has conducted significant research on collaborative giving, including as part of a research team that recently released a report on giving circles. He anticipates seeing the growth of more democratized and diversified philanthropy. Franklin said giving circles and other collaborative giving groups have tripled in number since 2007 and that number is expected to grow.

2. Next Gen Donors and the "Golden Age of Giving": Gen-Xers and Millenials with the capacity for making major gifts will likely become the most significant generation of philanthropists in history, according to Michael Moody, Frey Foundation Chair for Family Philanthropy at the Johnson Center. Moody said these generations will be significant because they will have both unprecedented amounts of wealth to give along with a zeal for revolutionizing philanthropy through new strategies and innovations that are shaking up the field. 

3. The Globalization of Philanthropy: Most giving is local and will remain so for a long time, according to Franklin and Moody, but there is a trend toward shared, formal philanthropic spaces that cross international borders in an increasingly connected world. 

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Page last modified January 19, 2018