Before embarking on our second annual tour of how philanthropy may affect America and the world in the year ahead, let’s pause for a reality check: The nonprofit sector accounts for just 5 percent of GDP, and all the money Americans give annually to charity would fuel the federal government for, oh, about 34 days. Coca-Cola spends nearly as much on advertising every year as the world’s biggest foundation, Gates, devotes to all its grantmaking. The New York City public school system spends more money in two weeks than the mighty Ford Foundation gives away in twelve months.
Philanthropy remains the puny cousin of the big kids on the block, business and government, and so we need to keep in check expectations about what private giving can accomplish.
That said, the power of foundations and major donors is rising. New wealth is flowing into philanthropy, often coming from hard-charging givers with big ideas. Endowed legacy outfits are stepping up their games. More intermediaries and collaborations are connecting the dots. Even once-dowdy corporate funders are getting more sophisticated.
Meanwhile, the fiscal screws are tightening on government at all levels, leaving it without as much spare cash to solve problems—and creating vacuums that private donors move to fill. A top story in today’s philanthropy, in other words, is how both rising supply and demand is changing the balance of power between key sectors of U.S. society. More funders are stepping forward, even as government is pulling back.
Let’s dive into what this year might bring. All links below lead to IP articles that offer more context for our predictions.
North America is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
Looking for a way to get involved?
A good way to complement your interest in North America is to connect with others. Check out these events, galas, conferences or volunteering opportunities related to North America.
Are you ready to give?
North America is an important topic. Other members found these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects aggregated by Giving Compass to be relevant to individuals with a passion for North America.