Giving Compass' Take:

• The report, A Philanthropist's Guide to the Future, explains six distinct ways that philanthropy is shifting and evolving. 

• How can donors best understand these changes and how to move forward as the giving landscape evolves and expands?

• Read about how millennials are changing philanthropy.

The philosophy, scope and even the ‘currency’ of giving have seen dramatic shifts in keeping with the nature of the challenges faced by society. And it augurs well for the development sector.

It’s not just the nature and extent of development problems that have changed over the years. Philanthropy has been changing and evolving, too. And in several ways: the points of entry have grown more diverse, the attitudes more humble and inclusive, the tactics more sophisticated.

The earlier approach of simply donating funds is giving way to philanthropists committing resources such as time, talent and strategic counselling to the beneficiaries. Focus is on high impact, scalable and sustainable outcomes.

To contextualise and affirm our own experience within the broader philanthropic landscape, we at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation partnered with global research group United Minds to conduct new research on current trends and attitudes in social impact. Through our research survey and interviews undertaken with around 700 social impact professionals across three geographies – the US, India and South Africa–we learned that philanthropy is indeed changing.

We have captured the findings of our research in a report titled ‘A Philanthropist’s Guide to the Future’,  which essentially reveals that philanthropy is changing in six distinct ways:

  • The role of philanthropy is shifting, from one that focuses on capital to one that focuses on competence.
  • The motivation to work in philanthropy is shifting, from passion alone to a mixture of passion and pragmatism.
  • The approach to problem-solving is shifting, from staging interventions to pursuing innovations.
  • The relationships between social impact leaders are shifting, from coordination among peers to full-on collaboration.
  • The scope of work within organisations is shifting, from quick fixes to long-term involvement.
  • Scaling up successful social impact initiatives is key to influencing change.

Read the full article about philanthropy evolving at Philanthropy In Focus.