3 Trends Shaping Philanthropy In 2022

Bishop Butler

March 6, 2023

Bishop Butler

A new generation of philanthropists is transforming the landscape of giving. These donors are self-directed, emphasizing finding their path to philanthropy. Their worldview, faith, lifestyle commitments, and personal identity differ from previous generations.

Americans have been demonstrating tireless generosity amid challenging times. It is vital for nonprofits to keep an eye on evolving trends and to invest in understanding their donors, optimizing methods for reaching them, and illustrating real-world stories that inspire donations.

The Next Generation of Donors

In 2021, charitable giving hit a new high of $485 billion. Though that number is only a relative record when inflation is considered, it marks a brief and important surge in giving.

They want to see their impact on the issues they care about – whether by reviewing the theory of change, experiencing it firsthand, or visiting a nonprofit and see how their donations are used. Their commitment to seeing results drives their philanthropy in a meaningful way.

Young donors learn about nonprofits through various channels, including social media, search engines, websites, and emails. They also volunteer and donate their time and skills to organizations that align with their goals and interests, according to a recent study.

This is a great opportunity for nonprofits to reach out to younger donors and engage them in ways that match their priorities, skills, and talents. Nonprofits can use these younger donors to their advantage by developing trust-based relationships with them now and in the future.

Social Movements

Social movements are purposeful groups that strive to achieve a common goal. They are sometimes left-wing or right-wing, radical or conservative, highly organized or diffused, but they all share the goal of creating social change.

They can be based on political views but are also centered on issues such as poverty, gender equality, sex trafficking, and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food. Regardless of their goals, social movements tend to be active and seek change on various issues, but they are not always successful.

They often begin with a wish for change in social customs, ethics, or values that oppress certain communities. This wish leads to a chain of events, creating a social movement.

Digital Philanthropy

Digital philanthropy has transformed the nonprofit sector, allowing donors to support causes they care about with just the click of a button. From online fundraising to social media volunteerism, the digital charity has a huge impact on the world and is constantly evolving.

A recent study by Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy found that digital giving is advancing across the globe, with donors embracing a variety of donation mechanisms appropriate to their countries and cultural norms. It identifies five emerging forms of giving with transformative potential: cryptocurrency, contactless giving, donor-advised funds, impact investing, and workplace giving.

These new types of giving create a thriving and innovative philanthropic ecosystem connecting donors with the issues they care about. They also enable corporations to decentralize their philanthropic work, improve employee morale, and decrease operational costs.


In 2022, many donors will want to be more transparent about giving. This may include sharing information about how their donations are being spent or creating a website to track their giving in more detail.

This is also a great way for nonprofits and fundraising organizations to increase transparency in their practices. It allows them to demonstrate that they are transparent about how they use their funds and ensure they respond promptly to their donors’ questions.

Transparency has become an increasingly prominent feature of philanthropy, both in a social and a policy context. This is because it provides a means of accountability and can be a tool for social impact and development in organizations and countries.

Researchers and nonprofits are still struggling to understand the full range of gifts people give — especially those that go untracked. But this issue is being addressed by GivingTuesday, which is working to gather more data on all kinds of giving.