Over the course of the last year, the world has witnessed unprecedented challenges—the unexpected presence of a devastating pandemic, growing awareness of longstanding racism and pervasive systemic inequality, and a movement to restore democracy. We are in a season of change…and philanthropy is not exempt.

When donors were called to action in March, many responded without hesitation, shedding old patterns of well-worn behaviors and shifting towards more effective philanthropic approaches. Donors acted with a sense of urgency—something that is often lacking in the sector. Families reconsidered their relationship to risk by acting boldly, centering community needs, and revisiting their values against a backdrop of significant turmoil. They recognized the burdens grantee partners carry and acted accordingly by embracing trust-based practices. And, among the many pivots in behavior, donors truly began to leverage collaboration, and in many instances, the use of trusted intermediaries.

While these changes are perhaps not as seismic or comprehensive as some of us would like, by all accounts this appears to represent an unprecedented move in the right direction and should be recognized as such. Through our conversations with giving families, the National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP) has identified top trends that characterize the 2020 Giving Landscape and is helping to catalyze major changes in the field of family philanthropy.

Each trend holds significant potential to positively impact the trajectory of the sector, and NCFP will continue to encourage donors to maintain these practices beyond these tumultuous times. Here are three of the most noteworthy trends.

  1. Advancing the Concept of Stewardship
  2. Family Engagement and Values
  3. Racial Equity Lens

Read the full article about the 2020 giving landscape by Jen Crino and Nicholas A. Tedesco at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.