Tomorrow’s philanthropy

Components of 'tomorrow’s philanthropy'

There are many ways that people can engage in social action to deliver value to human wellbeing around the world – traditional philanthropy is just one.

This major research will look at the relationships between different innovations and trends, such as social entrepreneurship, impact investment and venture philanthropy, as well as the methods of direct, donor-to-beneficiary support, which cut out the ‘middleman’ nonprofit organisation.

By examining the perspectives, as well as the contrasts and comparisons of each approach, we aim to develop a rich picture of how this complex system is changing. This will allow us to speculate on what the landscape might look like a decade from now, along with the implications this will have on resource generation, policies and practice. The five areas we shall explore are:

  • social entrepreneurship
  • impact investment
  • venture philanthropy
  • disintermediation (philanthropy direct to beneficiaries without going through a nonprofit agency)
  • organised philanthropy.

Structure of the research

Once we have identified key players in each field, the research will follow six stages:

1)    Examine the forces impacting each category and speculate as to their likely impact in the coming 10-year period.

2)    Identify how players operating in each category see the relative strengths and weaknesses of their approach and how this might change in the coming decade.

3)    Identify how players operating in each category see the relative strengths and weaknesses of the approaches of other forms of social action and again, how this might change in the future.

4)    Explore the implications for the pattern of resources that will be necessary to sustain each category and how strategy might need to evolve to ensure that funds continue to flow in an efficient and effective manner to enhancing human wellbeing.

5)    Identify any regional differences that may emerge in relation to points (1) to (4).

6)    Explore the implications for the key players involved in how they might prepare for likely future environments.

The Tomorrow’s Philanthropy project is supported by the Resource Alliance – who will help us identify participants to the research – as part of a new two-year collaboration. It will be conducted during 2015, and presented at a range of Resource Alliance events throughout 2016.

Project sponsor – The Resource Alliance

The Tomorrow's Philanthropy research is part of a two-year collaboration with the Resource Alliance.

Visit Resource Alliance's website