Just Released: The Philanthropy Outlook 2016 & 2017

total_giving_tileThe Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Marts & Lundy has released The Philanthropy Outlook 2016 & 2017. The report projects that U.S. charitable giving will grow 4.1 percent in 2016 and an additional 4.3 percent in 2017. Giving to education is also predicted to rise by 6.3 percent in 2016 and by 6.1 percent in 2017.

The report provides data and analysis for projected year-to-year growth rates in U.S. philanthropy, including for overall giving and for giving by individuals/households, foundations, estates and corporations, as well as for giving to education.

From the introduction:

“Philanthropy is undergoing significant transformation. These changes are bringing both challenges and opportunities for nonprofits to recalibrate their approaches to engaging, stewarding, and retaining donors, as well as structuring overall revenue generation. Below, we highlight four key areas of change that are impacting philanthropy today and consequently in the near- and long-term future…

Changing demographics within the United States are causing shifts in philanthropic giving patterns. Wealthy Millennials, for example, are more likely to use their wealth to create social impact as compared with older generations. Moreover, this age group is raising new questions about how philanthropy can most effectively be leveraged in creating change…  The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, along with the rise of giving through donor-advised funds and the increased integration of values with investment, entrepreneurism, and career life, demonstrates a clear preference among Millennials to be actively involved and engaged in their own philanthropic endeavors…

Demographic shifts in philanthropy are coinciding with both a changing economic climate and tumultuous political dynamics. While the general U.S. economic landscape is continuing to stabilize, not all U.S. households have experienced the same rate of financial recovery…

On the political landscape, contentious congressional battles over nonprofit and charity tax policies in recent years, as well as myriad proposed changes that may come with U.S. presidential nominations, add to the complexity of the current philanthropic environment.

From sophisticated websites and e-commerce tools to social media platforms and even bitcoin, it could be said that technological innovations have had the most impact on philanthropy in the last five to ten years. Technology has greatly expanded the donor-nonprofit relationship through enhancing nonprofit transparency, engaging donors and other constituents, leveraging peer-to-peer fundraising, and providing greater ease in giving and philanthropic involvement. While data do not yet reveal a specific link between changing technologies and increased overall giving, emerging forms of technology have significant weight to bear on both the present and future philanthropic landscape. However, as one report has noted, it is critical for the philanthropic sector to attend to the limits of technology – including information overload and the lack of high-quality information.

Combined, these areas of influence pose the greatest challenge to nonprofits in the areas of fundraising and revenue generation (emphasis added), either directly in terms of effective engagement and retention of a diverse range of donors and maintenance of a strong revenue structure, or indirectly, such as in the areas of staffing, leadership, collaboration, and partnerships. Yet, the challenges these dynamics pose are also opportunities for growth opportunities wherein nonprofits and their leaders and constituents can reimagine new possibilities.”

The complete report, Philanthropy Outlook 2016 & 2017, is available here.