According to The Future of Philanthropy, the latest study to be released by Fidelity Charitable, Americans’ approach to giving and views on how to solve the world’s challenges are changing.
Donors identify a wide range of pressing issues, but are not particularly optimistic that their giving alone will solve them.
Health and hunger are among the top priorities among a wide range of problems Americans identify as important, and they increasingly think it will take more than just investment in traditional nonprofits to solve them. Less than one-fifth (17%) say that they are “strongly optimistic” that giving alone will lead to fixes for the issues they care most about. They view partnerships between government, business and nonprofits as equally key to developing these solutions. They also think individuals and businesses alike should step up and fund solutions for society’s challenges.
Key findings on challenges:
- Top challenges to solve: 39% percent say developing treatment or cure for a disease; 33% say access to basic health services; 38% say hunger and access to nutritious food.
- Who should do more to fund solutions? 45% say business and 43% say individuals/philanthropy.
- Who will create the fixes? 39% of donors say nonprofits, but look beyond to public-partnerships (36%), individuals (33%), religious institutions (32%), universities (26%) and business and social enterprises (26% and 24 %). They’re least likely to cite government (19 %).
Transparency, technology and evolving attitudes toward wealth are reshaping donors’ approaches to giving.
The past 20 years have been a time of rapid change for philanthropy, with 60% of donors citing at least one way that their giving has changed. Donors are more results-focused, with 41% saying they have changed their giving due to increased knowledge about nonprofit effectiveness.
Nearly a third of donors (27%) say that technological advances have changed their giving by providing convenient tools to research, find and fund organizations. About a fifth (21%) say their giving has been affected by changing views on generational wealth or increased access to charitable planning services or giving vehicles (18%).
Millennials and Baby Boomers are both significant forces in giving today – but as Millennials grow in influence, they will likely transform giving.
Millennials and Baby Boomers agree on the challenges society should address – both prioritize health and hunger issues – but the similarities stop there. For instance, Baby Boomers are more likely to focus on issues in the U.S., while Millennials focus on challenges both at home and abroad.
Millennials also approach giving in fundamentally different ways. Compared to Baby Boomers, Millennials have more readily embraced the trends that define their generation – the adoption of technology, a social approach to donations, and viewing giving more broadly than just traditional donations to charity.
Key differences between generations:
- Global Focus: 47% of Millennials are equally concerned about domestic and international issues, compared with 36% of Baby Boomers.
- Adoption of technology in giving: Compared to Baby Boomers, Millennials are more than twice as likely to have changed their giving approach due to technological advances in giving (49% to 23%).
- Social giving: A third of Millennials have been influenced by increased opportunities to connect with peers about giving, more than twice the number of Boomers (30% to 11%).
- Giving differently: Millennials are three times more likely than Boomers to have tried alternative forms of giving, such as choosing to purchase from a company with a social mission or investing for social impact (32% to 14%).
“As we look to the future, all of these trends point to donors becoming more hands on with their giving, not less,” said Pamela Norley, president of Fidelity Charitable. “Americans will continue to prioritize giving and integrate their approach to philanthropy even more fully into their daily lives. With this focus on effectiveness, they’ll become even more thoughtful about where and how they give, driving a need and demand for resources to help them.”
For the complete report and additional insights, visit www.fidelitycharitable.org/insights/future-of-philanthropy.shtml