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Analysts have started to look back on the past year and identify some of the patterns that emerged among major nonprofit donors. Three themes in particular stood out in 2017, all rooted in the near-ubiquitousness of technology. Nonprofit Tech For Good lists the following lessons learned from the past year:

  1. Online fundraising is increasing and will continue to increase.
  2. Social networking will not only continue to grow, but affect the way that nonprofit organizations draw awareness to their campaigns.
  3. Cash is no longer king: more and more, people across the globe are moving away from cash to buy things and turning more towards cards or other electronic methods, such as Apple Pay or other mobile wallet applications. This trend will resonate in the nonprofit sector as well.

To tech-savvy readers, none of these statements will come as a huge surprise. Smartphones are only getting smarter. Log into Facebook, and you’ll probably see a GoFundMe page somewhere on your timeline. Technology has become integral to the way people donate over time, and the past year proved that time and time again.

Additionally, members of the nonprofit community have begun to predict the upcoming trends that 2018 will bring as well. We have no way of knowing precisely what will happen this early in the year, especially when specific events or incidents may affect donor behavior. However, given what information is out there, here are several educated predictions from Grand Valley State University’s Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Inside Philanthropy:

  1. Collaborative giving will take precedence over legacy foundations. Large-scale giving will continue to exist (and likely increase as new mega-givers gain more traction), but overall, philanthropic efforts are becoming more diversified and democratic in their methods. And on that note, technology has allowed these efforts to “go global” and have a much wider impact.
  2. Millennials and members of Generation X have the capacity to influence the nonprofit sector like no other before them. Not only will these generations have more wealth to supply, but they also possess the drive to revolutionize how we as a society approach philanthropy. Charitable giving isn’t dropping – on the contrary, it rises each year – and the living donors who maintain foundations will pool their resources together to continue this.
  3. The prevalent issues of 2018 will be: While this list is in no way complete, the #MeToo campaign, climate change, the opioid epidemic, the arts, refugee funds, campus gifts, and political efforts are expected to gain traction in particular.

For more posts by Artyom Leydiker about philanthropy, check out this page.