With the better part of this year behind us and the mild weather months on the horizon, this time can be used to reflect on the trends that we have seen in philanthropic involvement this year so far. Identifying and analyzing current trends in philanthropy and how they have changed in comparison to previous years is the best way to make future predictions. We can use these trends to predict how societal involvement and philanthropic engagement should pan out in 2020 and even beyond. 


Donations are increasing

Since the Great Recession, total charitable donations have been on the rise. Since 2014, the U.S. is continually surpassing their total donation amount year after year, with no evidence of this trend slowing down anytime soon. However, while most would attribute this to a rise in the number of households becoming involved in philanthropic engagement, it is actually more likely due to a larger monetary amount donated from the same number of households, on average. The donor pool is decreasing, while the donation amount continues to rise. 


More millennial involvement

The millennial generation is the most recent age group to begin to enter the workforce. With this emergence comes a new generation of socially aware individuals with a salary and income to support their philanthropic desires. Millennials are a generation surrounded by social media influence where activities, like volunteering and donating to charities, are broadcasted. Seeing others involved in acts of kindness and volunteering is contagious to others, with help from real-time streaming and technology available on smartphones. 


A rise in impact investing 

Impact investing is the act of investing in companies that are intending to not only gain fiscal profits but also provide social impacts to benefit organizations that align with the company’s mission statement. This is not a new concept by any means, but it is an activity that has seen a rise in interest by many industries in recent years. Impact investments provide a way for donors to be able to advise and oversee their funds, which appeals to the businesses who are more considerate of making a profit while also doing good for society. 


Technology making us more knowledgable

Philanthropists and donors are interested in knowing more about their charitable impact. Donors are becoming more focused on results and have been known to increase their charitable contributions when they are provided information on how their donation has directly impacted the organization and cause. Technological advancements make it easier to provide donors with this information. It is now easier than ever to spread awareness of organizations and even more simple to make a donation with the click of a button on a social media profile. 


It is likely that these growing trends from 2019 will follow us into 2020. With technology and social impact progressing as it has been, there is no limit as to what philanthropic trends we might see in the near future.