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11 Trends in Philanthropy for 2021

by Aaron Yore-VanOosterhout; Jeff Williams; Juan Olivarez; Kevin Peterson; Leslie Starsoneck; Mandy Sharp Eizinger; Michael Layton; Michael Moody; Pedro Gomes; Teresa Behrens; Tory Martin

Jan 1, 2021

11 Trends in Philanthropy for 2021 is the fifth edition of this annual report. You'll find among these essays that the critical questions we face in the aftermath of the chaos and trauma of 2020 are ones the sector has been wrestling with for years, but must now address more forcefully, including:

  • the sprawling impacts of wealth inequality;
  • significant declines in public trust in institutions and in each other;
  • the bright and dark sides of technological proliferation; and
  • the systemic racism permeating so many aspects of our society and democracy.

Each of these trends has real implications for our day-to-day work, how we carry out our missions, and how we broaden our frame on public good. Many of our colleagues and communities have been hard at work on these issues for years, even generations. Others have embraced shifts in focus and practice in response to a remarkable year. This work gives us hope, and we'll be keeping an eye out to see whether these shifts prove permanent or more temporary.