Johnson Center for Philanthropy releases annual "11 Trends in Philanthropy" report

A logo that says anticipate and embrace what's next on a red background.
Image credit - Courtesy Graphic, Johnson Center for Philanthropy

The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University has released its fifth annual "11 Trends in Philanthropy" report, identifying trends that will shape the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors in the coming months and years. 

In 2020, long-running themes from previous reports manifest in critical social issues that led experts at the Johnson Center to identify trends for the sector that they said must be addressed "more forcefully."

The trends report includes essays from industry and thought leaders in the philanthropic sector and the nonprofit sector sharing ideas on trends they see for 2021. 

According to Johnson Center experts, some of the most critical issues to address include:

  • the sprawling impacts of wealth inequality;
  • significant declines in public trust in institutions and in each other;
  • the bright and dark sides of technological proliferation; and
  • the systemic racism permeating so many aspects of our society and democracy.

The report further identified other important trends to watch in 2021, including how data is coming of age in the nonprofit sector, how philanthropy and government are increasingly playing overlapping roles in the public sphere, and how it's getting harder and harder to distinguish between philanthropy and business. 

Read the full report online here:

About the Johnson Center:

The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy is a global leader in understanding, strengthening and advancing philanthropy. It is an academic center within Grand Valley State University's College of Community and Public Service. 

The center strives to help build a world shaped by smart, adaptive and effective philanthropy that helps to create strong, inclusive communities. The center provides competency-based professional development, applied research and evaluation, and resources and tools to transform communities for the public good. 

For more information, visit


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