future of philanthropy


What’s Next for Philanthropy in the 2020s

A look ahead at emerging trends in philanthropy and charitable giving

Drawing from interviews with more than 200 philanthropy executives, practitioners, donors, board members, experts, and grantees from around the world, What’s Next for Philanthropy in the 2020s explores what emerging social, economic, and political shifts may mean for the future of philanthropy, charitable giving, and social innovation.

Understand the Leading “Edges” Emerging in Philanthropy

People and organizations are continuously experimenting with new ideas and strategies at the edges of the field. While most of these efforts remain small and marginal, we found four critical “Edges” that show an outsized potential to grow, influence, and reshape the core of philanthropic practice over time.

Coming Soon: Learn about the “Big Shifts” with the Potential to Change Philanthropy

Challenge and Flip Your Orthodoxies and Assumptions

Orthodoxies are deeply held beliefs about how things are done that often go unstated and unquestioned, leading to organizational blind spots over time. To adapt to a rapidly changing world, funders often need to examine and challenge their orthodoxies in order to “flip” or change the ones that no longer make sense.

Orthodoxies Overview

A primer on orthodoxies in philanthropy, along with instructions for a fun and engaging do-it-yourself card game to help you consider and challenge assumptions that may be holding back your philanthropy.

Download the overview


General Philanthropy Orthodoxy Card Deck

The “base” card deck for the Flipping Orthodoxies Card Game, designed to be printed on card stock, cut, and used to challenge engrained assumptions about how you do your work

Download the General Philanthropy Card Deck


Customizing Your Orthodoxy Card Deck

In addition to the base General Philanthropy Orthodoxy deck, to round out the set of orthodoxies in the card deck you use, add one or more “expansion packs” of cards (focused on community philanthropy, corporate philanthropy, family philanthropy, and/or private foundations) that are relevant to your work

Download the all-in-one What's Next for Philanthropy Toolkit

Read About Our Previous Work on the Future of Philanthropy

  • What's Next for Community Philanthropy: Our 2014 analysis of the changing landscape of community philanthropy, including tools to help place-based funders adapt and meet their communities’ evolving needs
  • What's Next for Philanthropy: Our 2010 fieldwide exploration of the future of philanthropy, which calls on funders not only to adopt established best practices, but also to pioneer emerging “next practices” that will be a good fit for the future
  • On the Brink of New Promise: Our first focused investigation from 2004 on the future of US community foundations
  • Looking Out for the Future: Our initial field-level inquiry into the future of philanthropy, conducted in the early 2000s

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