May the new year bring you joy, peace, happiness, and…industry trends. A new year signals an opportunity for industries to renew energy, stir up some excitement, and set the tone for what is to come. Trends are an exercise in preparedness. For instance, after seeing 2017’s tech and fashion trends, I am preparing to welcome artificial intelligence into my house and embrace a wardrobe of stripes–what a year! Now, I am sure you are asking yourself, “But what about philanthropy trends?” Wait no longer…
Under the radar and probably while you were sleeping, the Johnson Center for Philanthropy unveiled 11 Philanthropic Trends for 2017 that will both form and challenge the work of philanthropy this year.
- Some capture the extension of past trends that are here to stay: social media and crowdfunding remain effective channels for increased donor engagement.
- Others signal a break from business as usual and point to rising wealth concentration and what scholars believe is the greatest “wealth transfer” in American history as forces that will fundamentally reshape philanthropic norms. Prepare yourselves for a new cohort of donors with substantial assets who seek innovative modes of giving.
Although the recognition of nonprofit capacity as a legitimate need and investment has been slow to gather industrywide support, the Johnson Center believes that the issue is on the verge of a breakthrough and an emerging trend worthy of noting. To meet stakeholder expectations and impact the problems that trouble communities the most, nonprofits must be able to build and maintain organizational infrastructure–or, in other terms–capacity.
Maximizing Excellence, LLC has worked ahead of this trend. We have built our client services with strengthening capacity in mind and continue to educate nonprofit staff and volunteers through events like Camp Capacity and the Maximizing Excellence Institute. This report has motivated us, however, to expand our definition of capacity.
Capacity is mission, leadership development, resource sustainability, measurable progress, and strategic planning.
Capacity also anticipates changing cultural and economic conditions. It is the consideration of the well-being of communities and how nonprofits can work to spur place-based change to enhance local quality of life for the global good. It will be the task of nonprofits, funders, and Maximizing Excellence alike to adapt to this changing philanthropic landscape to ensure nonprofits are “enduring agents of positive social change.”