As humans, we’re wired to look ahead… what will the future hold? What will we do next? How will we prepare? In philanthropy, it’s even more important to consider changes (both good and challenging) that will affect impact achievement and better the communities you’re devoted to. It’s this instinct to look ahead that keeps us innovating and striving for continual improvement.
We’ll continue to be challenged in consistently receiving and utilizing evaluation data; defining impact and being able to achieve it; and attracting quality applications.
~John Amoroso | Executive Director | The David and Lura Lovell Foundation
As a tech vendor in the philanthropic sector, Foundant has a special interest in continual improvement and innovation. Our success relies on the success of our clients - it’s that simple. We cannot be “just a business,” because we’re not; we’re an organization supporting the collective impact of the philanthropic community, and that means
something to us.
It is imperative we keep a close eye on changes in the sector. How are grantmakers tracking data? What is creating breakdowns in funder-grantee relationships? How are grantmakers collaborating with one another? And these questions lead us to ask: How can we support your efforts?
The first step is to learn, and then use and share the information we find. Over the past two years, we’ve been working with clients, partners, and experts in the sector to research topics that affect the people who look to us for solutions. We learned about funder-grantee relationships, impact and outcome tracking, giving trends, collaboration, and more. But, the most important topics we learned about - and the most important to continually keep an eye on - are, where we’ve been
and where we’re going.
As North Carolina celebrates 100 years of organized philanthropy this March, and grantmakers from across the region come together to “Imagine Tomorrow,” we wanted to share some of our own research and thoughts via the On Philanthropy: Looking Ahead
white paper created in collaboration with and written by Sharmila Rao Thakkar, MPH, MPA Principal, SRT Advising & Consulting, LLC
Recent social, political, and economic events mean both new challenges and new opportunities for the philanthropic sector. How/where/when we give and fundraise, the way we collect/analyze/use data, and who will be central to decision-making all determine the trends that will become fixtures in the sector. With these drivers in mind, we can try to anticipate and plan ahead. How will the shifts we’ve been experiencing shape philanthropy and the giving environment overall?
Giving Centered Around Impact
As covered in our recent data guide, the philanthropic sector has been focused on measuring the results of programs and philanthropic investments beyond simply the act of giving a grant. All signs point to this trend enduring, the move from transactional to transformational philanthropy has created a demand for systemic change.
Funders and nonprofits depend more on data to tell their stories, prove their hypotheses/value/programs, point to their successes and garner more support for their work. Limited resources, donors focused on solving specific issues and being engaged more directly in solutions mean this focus on being able to document impact will continue. And with more and more tools, resources, sector initiatives, organizations, collaborative spaces, and increased funding allocated toward evaluation and capacity building for impact tracking, this is one trend in philanthropy that’s here to stay.
To read the full article, and to learn more about our research and future trends in philanthropy, visit: https://resources.foundant.com/philanthropy-experience/on-philanthropy-looking-ahead
We’re looking forward to spending time with you and learning as we Imagine Tomorrow together.