Lately, countless conversations focus on how the year will unfold for the world of politics, but the world of philanthropy is poised for an equally significant year. Take a look at some of the trends that will shape philanthropy in 2017!
Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) are without a doubt the fastest-growing form of philanthropic giving in America: There are more than 269,000 DAFs in the United States, and they oversee over $78 billion in assets. When a donor contributes to a DAF, they waive ownership rights to the cash, stock, or whatever financial assets they donate, but they hold advisory privileges that allow them to weigh in on how the fund’s assets are invested or distributed. Contributions to DAFs have doubled since 2010, and they’ll only continue to increase in 2017.
Greater Impact Investing
Also known as ESG investing because of its focus on environmental, social, and governance issues, impact investing has grown rapidly during the past several years. How does it work? In essence, impact investment is investment that is designed to produce both financial returns as well as benefits for certain social, environmental, or related issues. In 2016, impact investments represented one-fifth of all investments under professional management: a whopping $8.72 trillion. Impact investing will continue to grow throughout the new year.
Politics Takes Center Stage
While people have been taking to the streets to show their discontent over politics, they’ve also been expressing their frustrations through their wallets. Donations have been pouring in to philanthropies that address political causes; for example, last weekend alone, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) received $24 million in donations from over 356,000 donors. This shows that socially-and politically-oriented philanthropic organizations will have no trouble raising funds in the new year.
Women control more than half of all private wealth in the United States, and that figure is only expected to grow: During the next 40 years, women are projected to inherit 70% of $41 trillion as the result of intergenerational wealth transfers, and by 2025, women will represent 60% of all billionaires in the country. As women continue to grow their assets, they’ll play an even greater role in American philanthropy, and that will certainly be the case in 2017.
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