14 new trends in philanthropy and 4 old ones that still work
- Conscious Capitalism - Many people in their 40s and 50s who generated a great deal of wealth at an early age and have decided to leverage that wealth in philanthropy.'' They want to fund now instead of later, so they can see the results of their philanthropy.
- Results Focused Philanthropy – New giving activists are past of the high-finance and tech industries. They are highly engaged in their causes, investing not just money but also time, energy and oversight. Conservatively, these activist philanthropists will be pouring between $1.9 trillion and $2.6 trillion into philanthropy over the 20 years that began a decade ago, roughly 35% of the total giving during this period. The results-focused nature of this philanthropic capital investment will make today’s charitable giving far more important than the giving seen during the last century. Behind this impressive growth is a new wave in philanthropy that is not only activist but also mindful of getting a return on investment. Successful business people wil make investments in society by attacking an issue from the bottom-up…no more band-aids. You can call it venture philanthropy or social entrepreneurialism – but it’s all made possible by the new economy.
- The Values and ethics of corporations and business executives are of great importance now. Supporting the communities in which they work or do business is important to the public. They want to know there is a community partnership with the businesses in their city. Many corporate folks might find an area in their city that they can make a difference in – can saturate the communty with support to turn it around.
- My favorite example of a retired business executive who decided to change a neighborhood is David L. Moore, now retired president and Partner of Accenture, who founded Elves and More in Houston. After suffering a personal disaster, and seeing real poverty up close in Houston, he vowed to do something to make a difference. Shocked and bewildered that children in the United States could live in such dire circumstances he adopted a Neigborhood to blanket an entire community with change. Visit www.elvesandmore.org to learn more about this wonderful organization.
- Great corporations like AT&T are investing in their neighborhoods in many different ways including technology and education. You may have a building on your campus housing a technology center like the one I recently saw at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. Just last week, AT&T gave $5M to Trinity University to overhaul their technology infrastructure on campus. They also gave $2.85 M to the University of Texas at San Antonio for iTEC – an interactive Technology Experience Center. The center will provide hands-on activities for students from kindergarten through high school, as well as College of Engineering undergraduates.
These organizations and individuals are making an impact on future economic development in the communities in which they give and work. Now, in return, don’t you want to support these people who support you and your community?
- For many business people you want to combine the heart and the head, and use your business experience and talent to ensure funds you give are most effectively used…performance philanthropy
- Unfortunately, grant making today is generally program-based, often with tight restrictions on how the grants can be used for overhead, so the ability for a nonprofit to take that money to improve itself managerially is very low or doesn't exist. This forces nonprofits to start for-profit sides to produce the dollars need for salaries, plant and equipment. Ultimately, this could take the eye off the charitable mission.
- Philanthropy camps – these organizations come in the form of groups like roundtables and effective philanthropy groups. In effect, they have created havens for funders to get together to learn for long weekends. It might be handy to get on an agenda at one of these events.
- Incognito Funders will want to check you out – you may find them entering your organization as an ivisible client testing the waters… they will super slueth your services to see if you in fact deliver what you say you deliver.
- Inter vivos giving is for those who decide to forgo deathbed charity – for those who have found that it is more rewarding and pleasing to give contributions while you are still alive. Warren Buffett is a terrific example of someone who wants to be part of the process.
- Wealth phsycologists –some people find that inheriting money can be a curse. Seeking out support to help them better raise their children, spend their money wisely and avoid conflict is creating a lucrative business. Simply put, if one creates a large fortune, they do not have to change their lifestyle or their morals. Many are chosing to stay simple.
- Ways to attract young people are changing. A cause must be compelling and relevent. Young donors want to walk hand in hand with the nonprofits they seek to support by sitting on their boards, helping with decision making, and participating. Read the article about Generation X by Jacqueline Beretta.
- Boldness – lifeless fundraising will not work anymore. People are too sophisticated. Confidence, focus, and results are imperitive.
- Philanthropy Advisors will help you find groups to give to – address effectiveness – and measure outcome. They're running this like a business, so it's a win-win situation. You don’t have to do a thing – just give.
- Nonprofit advisors charge a percentage of each donation they arrange. They provide research and evaluate results. They match make for good.
- Be quick and nimble on your feet. You have to be ready to catch yourself if you stumble and fall because of an unexpected event in the economy, or a natural disaster. Things can change in a brief second. Or the possibility that people’s sense of logic might change in how they look at your organization. You must be ready for everything. Small is better and easier to navigate.
- Old fashioned trends that still work
Personal contact Personal thank yous
Cultivating a friendship Fulfilling a passion
Whatever you do, whomever you contact, be genuine. Show real passion for what you are trying to accomplish.