Philanthropy in the Age of Constant Disruption

October 2021 / 1 min 30 sec
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If the past 18 months taught us anything, it was the pace of change has accelerated across many aspects of society. These widespread changes are affecting philanthropy as well.

Donors not only gave a record $471 billion to U.S. charities in 2020, according to Giving USA’s annual philanthropy report, but also deployed new giving strategies to maximize their charitable impact.

“By understanding the role philanthropy plays in today’s disruptive world and embracing new giving trends, families and nonprofits can strengthen their philanthropic programs and legacies for generations to come,” says Laura Coy, head of philanthropy strategy and ESG integration at William Blair.

Coy identified six trends reshaping the philanthropic landscape in a new William Blair report, Philanthropy in the Age of Constant Disruption (PDF). They are:

  • Catalytical Capital. Funding to support emerging ideas through venture-like early investments, entrepreneurial programs, and other novel investments to inspire and generate catalytical change.
  • Moonshot Philanthropy. Setting ambitious long-term goals for a specific cause and funding projects with enough philanthropic capital to make a significant impact.
  • Advancing Equity. Intentionally supporting organizations and initiatives that address inequities in communities affected by systemic racism and racial inequality.
  • Collaboration and Partnership. Collaborating and forming partnerships with other donors and organizations to make a bigger impact.
  • Impact Investing. Investing in charities expected to make a positive impact on society or the environment, aligning value to values, as well as generating financial returns.
  • Next Generation. Engaging younger generations in philanthropy so they too help pave the way for a meaningful impact and family legacy.

Prioritize Your Year-End Giving

While these trends are gaining momentum across the philanthropic landscape, developing a philanthropic strategy is an intensely personal decision. William Blair is committed to helping you define the purpose of your capital to maximize your impact. Contact your William Blair advisor or Laura Coy for more information and to prioritize your year-end giving.