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Philanthropy has Greek and Latin roots: philanthrōpos from Greek and philanthropia from Latin. Both have the prefix phil- (philo- in Greek) meaning “loving” and anthro (anthropos in Greek) meaning “mankind.” Yet, this word has a deeper meaning. It means to be good to our fellow humans; to care for those who need help. We need this word and the good that it does more than ever. We live in a world that has such negativity and inequality, yet seeing a charitable act reminds us that there is good in the world. Philanthropy has been around for centuries, and there are numerous philanthropic foundations around the world. Each one is unique in its own right. And each year, just as there are new causes there are new trends. These trends affect organizations from their popularity to staff retention. As 2019 winds down, we look towards 2020 for better and bigger philanthropic achievements. Here are three philanthropy trends we can expect next year. 


  1. The Election Effect — 2020 is an election year. Thus, the election will have an effect on the number of donations. According to Classy, elections drive up support as seen in the 2016 election with President Trump. At the time of this election, some nonprofits opposed President Trump’s policies. The reaction created a surge in donations. This type of reaction can also be called “rage giving” or “rage donating.” It is interesting that those who donated were interested in long-term results, rather than those who donated at non-election times or sporadically. They were deemed recurring donors and had a positive impact on recurring giving programs. As the 2020 election fades away, the number of donations will likely produce record amounts. 
  2. Better Transparency — Now that social media (and the media) has been proven to make or break a charitable organization or reveal a charity scam, donors are expecting better transparency. Technology has made it very easy to set up GoFundMe pages and other types of donation sites, making it easy for anyone to solicit and receive donations. This brings up the issue of making donations more transparent. One way to achieve this is to utilize blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrency. Blockchain uses encryption to make transactions (donations) more secure. The transactions cannot be altered or deleted. Another way is through donor-advised funds. These funds ensure that a donor’s money is going to the causes he or she has designated since the account is managed by a sponsoring organization. Both methods will make the process of donating more transparent as well as how philanthropic organizations are managed. 
  3. Authentic Giving Experiences — People want authentic experiences; they want to be part of the process. It is not enough to receive a receipt and/or social media proof about their donation. As with transparency, they want to know where their money is going and to see the outcome. Volunteering provides an authentic experience, and it has reached new heights. Voluntourism has been around for a while, but it, too, has become very popular. They are the best ways donors can achieve person-to-person experiences. Thus, we count on more authentic giving experiences around the world, especially in poor countries.