And just like that, 2020 is here and so is a brand-new decade. We’ve spent time examining the major philanthropy trends and shifts that we witnessed in the last decade, and now, it’s time to look forward. Our CEO, Madeline Duva, recently shared with Forbes the key trends that will shape philanthropy in 2020 and on. We want to share these same insights directly with our Fluxx readers. See below for the top trends that will shape philanthropy in the coming years and help foundations and nonprofits alike as they work to plan for the future of their organizations.
Many of you know all about it but for those of you who don’t, I’d like to introduce you to a fantastic asset for Fluxx Grantmaker clients… the Fluxx Grantmaker Community. The community is an online resource where Fluxx Grantmaker users can interact and share, explore ideas, learn best practices and more from one another. The Grantmaker Community is an important part of our commitment to building not just great grants management solutions, but also a community of philanthropists that connect with and learn from each other on multiple levels.
Philanthropy (like any industry) can get swept up in movements and trends. Some trends are buzzy but quickly flow through our cultural rivers, leaving little trace of their impact or original intent. But we’re here to talk about a growing movement that we hope wholeheartedly is here to stay. It’s the practice of bringing diversity, equity, and inclusion practices and trainings into the office, and ingraining them into the work culture. It’s a practice we see our clients (both foundations and nonprofits) doing more each year and something we see far less often in the tech industry. This needs to change.
The key to lasting impact is the ability to scale and adapt. When you’re able to share, reproduce, and generate impact beyond your original reach – everyone benefits! A key way to truly scale is with technology. A robust grants management platform brings with it automation and efficiency – saving foundations from having to overhire in order to meet their needs or overburden their current employees. Not to mention how much easier tax season becomes when data is centralized, safe, and easily referenceable.
It’s no secret that the tech industry has a diversity issue. As CNET’s Erin Carson reports, “the number of women and minorities at technology firms has changed little. Sometimes the numbers stay flat: From 2016 to 2017 Apple stayed at 32 percent women. Sometimes they fall backward: In 2016, Microsoft lost a percentage point.”
Philanthropy is a cooperative market. Its constituents work to unite funds and policies in order to meet common economic, social, and cultural needs in our ever-changing social sector. If armed with an equal voice, both the givers and doers can inform the collective and create the most sustainable and impactful solutions to solve human problems.
Nonprofits (along with the foundations that fund them) make up a significant portion of the U.S. economy. In fact, in 2014, nonprofits contributed $937.7 billion to the U.S. economy, the equivalent of 5.4 percent of our nation’s GDP. Yet some foundations and nonprofits still face pushback when looking to invest in operations to provide their essential services.
But like any for-profit organization, foundations and nonprofits will greatly benefit from developing the right technology plan in order to forecast for the new year. The same mechanisms that significantly improve the efficiency and mobility of for-profit giants are just as important for a foundation looking to better measure impact, streamline grants processes, and efficiently communicate with stakeholders. The right technology provides operational improvements that enables your team to elevate their grantmaking – freeing up time to further develop grantee relationships.
So looking ahead into the new year, how is your 2019 technology plan coming along? If sitting down to assess your current strategy and plan for the future sounds daunting, then our technology guide can help. After all, having a plan is the best way to demonstrate why an investment in the right technology (that aligns with your foundation’s mission) is critical.
The Foundation’s Guide to a Must Have Technology Plan was designed to help you develop an ideal strategic technology plan for your foundation. Read this guide to learn:
How to define a technology strategy that is suitable for your organization
How to choose the right technology
How to train and implement your strategy
Examples from other foundations who have implemented robust technology strategies
We know December is a busy month for foundations, but it’s also a perfect time to reflect on organizational successes and potential inefficiencies. Let us help you prepare for the future.
Fluxx’s Vice President of Strategic Development, Dan Schoenfeld, (formerly the Director of Grants and Impact Administration at the Knight Foundation) knows only too well that when foundations invest in the right technology they achieve drastically improved: collaboration, capacity building, and efficiency. Yet investing in new technology can often be an intimidating task even for the most experienced tech buyers.
The Giving USA annual report on the state of philanthropy, which was released last month, reveals that Americans are giving more than ever (including when measured using inflation-adjusted dollars): $410 billion in 2017. (From 2007 through 2017, giving went up $99 billion in current dollars.) As in previous years, the types of organizations that received that money were mostly religious ($127 billion) and educational ($59 billion). Meanwhile, donations to foundations were up 15.5% and, of all types of recipient, foundations saw the highest growth rate over two years.
For foundations big and small, grants management software not only streamlines your operations, but can also give you a new perspective on your organization's work. From revealing insights through data to automating processes to improving operational transparency, the right software can be a critical component to achieving your mission.