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…

This Thanksgiving, carve more than the turkey

Soon, many of us will gather around the Thanksgiving table with family and friends — to indulge in an abundance of delicious traditional foods and give thanks for abundant blessings and freedoms. The upcoming winter holidays are a wonderful and highly anticipated time to connect with loved ones and indulge in a certain amount of…

Higher education philanthropy, more like soccer or basketball?

Most people agree that higher education is worthy of philanthropic support. In 2016, nearly half of all donations from the largest 50 donors in the United States went to colleges and universities. That same year, U.S. colleges and universities accepted $41 billion in contributions. In early 2015, higher education endowments totaled more than $535 billion,…

Set a new table, create a “safe zone” for effective family philanthropy

Philanthropic strategists often work closely with families to help them establish, refine or refocus mutigenerational family foundations and donor-advised funds. Some of these families enjoy long histories of open communication across the generations – about money, values and charity. Many others, however, find these topics extremely difficult to broach. Multigenerational family philanthropy creates a unique…

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…

Women’s voices ring clear in world of philanthropy

As women in the Baby Boomer generation begin to retire, women in the Gen X and millennial generations are assuming well-deserved and hard-earned leadership positions in the business, government and nonprofit sectors. This transition is impacting philanthropy in significant ways. Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, and range in age from 71 to…

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…