Six trends to affect philanthropic landscape in 2018

When it comes to the world of philanthropy, 2018 promises to be transformational. Pessimists are concerned about the impact of new federal tax laws, the increase in income inequality, and the growing need for critical social services. Optimists see more reason for hope, believing that we have entered the “golden age of giving.” Watch for…

Moving the Needle

The phrase “moving the needle” gets a lot of play in philanthropy.  As well it should.  In my previous blog, “So What,” I observed that it is important to have a thoughtful reason for philanthropy that is designed to produce outcomes and is able to answer the question: “So what difference are we making?” Outcomes…

Next-generation donors will revolutionize philanthropy

We are currently engaged in the largest wealth transfer in history. Over 50 years, between 2007 and 2061, an estimated $59 trillion will pass from older to younger generations. In addition, many wealthy millennials, like Mark Zuckerberg and his peers, are generating their own substantial wealth. It is expected that up to half of this…

Strategic philanthropy: Seven lessons in seven years

Seven years ago, I began working closely with families, businesses and foundations to help them achieve greater impact for themselves and their communities through philanthropy. Over that time, much has changed and I’ve gained practical experience and learned valuable lessons within this very special niche. The field of strategic philanthropy is more sophisticated and complex…

Changes to federal policies could drastically affect philanthropists, nonprofits

Ever since the United States was founded, charitable support of nonprofit organizations has been a fundamental part of its social fabric. Every day, nonprofits touch millions of Americans’ lives. They provide for essential human services, advocate for core democratic values and support people, animals, arts and the environment. Plus, nonprofits account for 11.4 million jobs…

Risk, philanthropy go hand-in-hand

Risk is the likelihood of an undesirable outcome. Every action includes an element of risk. Philanthropy is no exception to this rule. In fact, charitable donations — because they seek to solve seemingly intractable problems — are often referred to as society’s ultimate “risk capital.” Risk and return analyses are important considerations when making any…

Tax Form 990: A treasure trove of information for strategic philanthropy

To achieve their goals, philanthropic families and businesses seek to partner with nonprofits that can demonstrate operational sustainability and effectiveness over the long term. For those making this decision, IRS tax form 990 contains a treasure trove of available information. Many otherwise-savvy donors fail to take advantage of this useful tool. Each year, tax-exempt organizations…

Seven trends in philanthropy to expect in 2017

2016 was a great year for philanthropy. It included record levels of giving and impact investing and more strategic approaches to charitable efforts. 2017 will likely launch its own unique trends. I’ll be watching for these highlights: Reduced tax incentives for giving Many knowledgeable observers predict that Congress will reduce income tax rates for the…