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

Graphic reading 11 Trends in Philanthropy for 2022
The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy staff projects 11 trends for nonprofits to watch in 2022.
Image credit - Courtesy

Faced with a litany of challenges, philanthropic organizations must be able to understand the larger national and global contexts they work within if they want to thrive. This perspective includes thinking about how their work contributes to building a more cohesive nation, according to experts at Grand Valley.

The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy released its sixth annual “11 Trends in Philanthropy” report, highlighting the topics and issues facing these organizations for 2022.

“Philanthropy’s practitioners are in flux, like everyone else,” said Teri Behrens, executive director of the Johnson Center. “They’re juggling day-to-day change and wrestling with huge paradigm shifts that could – and often should – redefine our sector fundamentally. We hope this report provides our colleagues with some insights on this evolving landscape.”

Emerging technologies and the ramifications of COVID-19 are among the biggest trends the Johnson Center staff envision will play a part in nonprofits’ missions of fulfilling that unifying role.

This year’s list examines:

     How can nonprofits utilize the growing market of cryptocurrencies?

     How are the fractious culture wars affecting philanthropy?

     How can nonprofits reverse the trend of declining financial donations?

     How are donors of color playing a greater role in the philanthropy sector?

While previous lists focused on issues discussing philanthropy’s place in a democracy, many of this year’s trends were concentrated on one issue in particular, said Tory Martin, director of communications and engagement at the Johnson Center.

“We found that many of the topics we looked into reflect the sector’s grappling with a profound question: ‘What role does philanthropy play in our national project of e pluribus unum or out of many, one,’” said Martin.

This year’s “11 Trends in Philanthropy” report is available online at the Johnson Center website,

About the Johnson Center:

Established in 1992 with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Grand Valley State University, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy is an academic center within GVSU’s Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence.

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.


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