2017 was a challenging and frustrating year for many of us who work in family philanthropy.  Many family foundations are rethinking the way they talk about missions, reaching out to new partners, and experimenting with creative approaches to grantmaking.  In the early days of 2018, family foundations are standing together in some exciting ways.

With that in mind, here are four trends to watch in family philanthropy in 2018

Looking to Unlikely Places for Models of Success

For the past decade or so, many family foundations looked to progressive states for examples of innovative philanthropy. But with the nation taking a turn to the right, many foundations are beginning to look at more conservative states as models, learning from what has proved successful in those states and trying to emulate that on a national scale.

Emphasizing Disaster Philanthropy

Many family foundations carry the burden of helping communities hit by these disasters. While there is an outpouring of help in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, the longer-term recovery is a slow and tedious process for any community, often without the necessary resources as the news has turned elsewhere.

Increased Advocacy for Philanthropy

Foundations of all stripes have become increasingly vocal in public policy advocacy in recent years—and more family foundations will join the chorus in 2018 to ensure that they can continue to serve the public and that the nonprofits they serve are given the resources they need to achieve their missions.

Speeding Up Spending Down

Endowed philanthropy remains an important model—and a preferred option—for many families. But an increasing number of families will also choose to either spend down their assets by a fixed date or ramp up their grantmaking for the short term to address what they see as pressing needs.

Read the full article about trends in family philanthropy by Katherine Lorenz at The National Center for Family Philanthropy.