While technology itself is not the only factor affecting changing trends in philanthropy, it is certainly having an impact. In fact, technology is often the invisible driving force behind numerous changes that don’t inherently seem to be technological in nature. With that said, here are four upcoming trends in philanthropy.
- Personal Philanthropy
In the past, the majority of philanthropic efforts were conducted by large foundations that collected vast sums of money and directed them towards charitable endeavors. Today, everyone is getting in on the act. Examples of personal philanthropy include building community gardens or starting small businesses that employ felons or help the homeless climb their way off the streets.
If a large organization such as the Red Cross received 500 checks for $5 each, it would cost them almost as much to simply process all those donations as they received in donations. With digital banking and transfers, however, the vast majority of even the smallest donation can be directly applied to their mission. In addition, with the rise of smaller philanthropic endeavors that may only need a few thousand dollars in contributions to accomplish their mission, smaller donations are having a much greater impact.
- Data-Driven Solutions
Advanced analytics were once the purview of the largest corporations and wealthiest businesses. Not only was data time consuming to collect but if often had to be compiled and analyzed by highly trained experts. Now, data is plentiful and can be gathered, compiled and analyzed by programs available to even the smallest organizations. Offering both data-driven solutions and hard analysis of results can help even small organizations attract a wealth of donors.
- Corporate Philanthropy
While corporate philanthropy is coming under attack for a wide range of reasons, it is still a driving force in the philanthropic world. In many cases, corporate philanthropy is seen as self-serving or merely solving problems the corporation itself is responsible for creating in the first place. For instance, Mark Zuckerburg’s Chan-Zuckerburg Foundation recently pledged $500 million for affordable housing in the Bay Area. In Menlo Park alone, home to Facebook’s headquarters, median home prices have more than doubled in the last 20 years to a whopping $2.5 million. This means that even a mid-level executive making a 6-figure salary would have difficulty making ends meet in the area.