While the stakes for most funders aren’t usually survival, for those looking to maximize their impact, there is a similar pattern in philanthropy. Our research suggests that a handful of powerful social, economic, and political forces will continue to put pressure on funders to change. We’ve identified seven “Big Shifts” that have the potential to influence the philanthropic landscape over the next decade:

Economic inequality, which is producing tremendous new challenges and need in communities, while also creating massive fortunes that are bolstering philanthropy at a massive scale.

Extreme political polarization that is dividing the population along partisan lines, politicizing previously apolitical issues, and making it increasingly difficult for philanthropy to remain outside the political sphere.

Shifting demographics that are literally changing the faces of communities, of donors, and of the issues they need to address. Traditional philanthropy—white, male, and older (oftentimes even dead)—is giving way to a far more diverse group poised to take up the mantle of community change.

New momentum around racial justice, which, after decades of work by activists, is driving organizations across sectors, disciplines, and geographies—including philanthropy—to grapple with systemic racism and bias in both their external actions and their internal practices and cultures.

Ubiquitous technology and access to information, which allows people to easily communicate and connect, to build and share data, and to coordinate and organize action in new ways, but also creates new challenges that philanthropy will need to address in its work.

A state of climate, health, and social emergency that can exacerbate existing problems or trump the planned agendas of a community or funder. Philanthropy can no longer escape being called upon to act and respond to what may become the “new normal” of increasingly frequent public crises.

A social compact in flux, which is fundamentally reshaping both how people relate to the institutions of business, government, and the social sector, and how the different sectors relate to one another.

While none of these forces are new, and each of them is significantly changing the social sector on its own, they are also combining, accelerating, and reinforcing one another in complex ways that are fundamentally transforming our lives and our communities. Altogether, they are creating a whole new context for the work of philanthropy.

Read the full article about philanthropy in the future by Gabriel Kasper, Justin Marcoux, and Jennifer Holk at Stanford Social Innovation Review.