a person holding a small tree and some change to show their corporate philanthropy of planting trees and raising money

The Future of Philanthropy

Philanthropy sought to reinvent charity where economic inequality could be balanced and solutions could be discovered for long-term problems. Giving to charities and nonprofit organizations isn’t a new thing, but we’ve already made leaps and bounds from the origination of philanthropy. At this rate, where will it go in the future? Only time will tell, but these are some possibilities.

More Philanthropic Resources

Every year, the economy continues to grow, which is great news for everyone. As the economy grows, more jobs are offered, and the unemployment rate drops. Overall, people become more willing to donate money to charities and nonprofit organizations. It’s no surprise that when the United States plunged into a recession, people saved money. In 2008, Newsweek published an article explaining that charities were being hit hard by the sagging economy. 

Thankfully, it’s been years since the 2008 recession, and companies are beginning to donate again. In 2015 alone, Microsoft donated $125 million to over 18,000 charities all over the world—which was the fifth year in a row it raised over $100 million. This trend is likely to continue as long as our economy remains healthy. 

Reduced Tax Incentives, Reduced Philanthropic Giving

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we could see reduced philanthropic giving due to fewer tax incentives for charitable giving. It seems counter-intuitive to reduce tax incentives for companies that give money to nonprofit organizations, but both presidential candidates had this plan. It’s no secret that many businesses participate in corporate philanthropy to get tax breaks.

Now that Trump is president, we could see significantly reduced tax incentives. According to NonProfitPro, Trump plans to significantly reduce 2017 charitable giving by 4.5% to 9%. That would be the difference of anything between $13.5 billion to $26.1 billion. 

Change and Experimentation

With or without changes in tax incentives, we could still see significant shifts in the tools used in philanthropy. Over the last few years, philanthropy has increased significantly because of continuously improving technology, but its main principle has remained the same—work toward solving problems with long-term solutions.

Technology will continue to grow which could continually help philanthropy—it will become easier to connect people and causes directly. A good example for this is crowdfunding websites, which are growing each day and are a great source of community capital. Some campaigns have exceeded their original goals and raised as much as $20 million

There may also be a huge change in implementing technology around the United States and the world. Some companies already have a goal to do just this. Since 2011, Google has had a major corporate philanthropy project to focus on the development of civic technology solutions in safety and justice, health and human services, and economic development. 

Google also works toward teaching children around the world about robots and teaching people to code while providing access to computers. It’s easy to see this trend continuing in both individual and corporate philanthropy.