Created By: Craig Shelley, CFRE, Katie Nickels, and Campbell LakeJanuary 31, 2024 As we settle into another new year, we’re faced with new beginnings and the opportunity for a fresh start. It’s also a time to prepare for the anticipated trends that may define the months ahead. Last September, when we looked forward to 2024, we predicted that the philanthropic landscape would be influenced by various socioeconomic factors, technological advancements, and generational shifts. Now, with 2024 in full swing, these trends, along with a few others, continue to shape our landscape, as highlighted during the recent Annual Meeting of the Association of Professionals – New York City Chapter, where a panel of nonprofit leaders offered insights into the driving forces behind this year’s giving. Moderated by Sunil Oommen, President of Oommen Consulting, participating panelists included (from left to right) Andrea Jung, President and Chief Executive Officer of Grameen America; Isoke Senghor, Co-Founder of The Village House Pantry; Stacy Palmer, Chief Executive of The Chronicle of Philanthropy; Jaylen Adams, Executive Fellow of Our Turn; and Adam Martel, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Givzey. The Rise of AI in Philanthropy Heading into 2024, nonprofits are now shifting focus from ‘whether’ to ‘how’ they can leverage AI effectively. They are exploring partnerships with AI solution providers, upskilling their teams, and prioritizing data security and ethical considerations. This holistic approach to AI adoption is poised to amplify nonprofits’ capacities and generate even more impactful results in the years ahead. >> Explore Orr Group’s AI Toolkit for our latest AI insights and resources Donor-Advised Funds and Trust-Based Philanthropy Last year, we saw donor-advised funds (DAFs) gain momentum along with the adoption of trust-based philanthropy. These approaches are providing organizations with unrestricted, multi-year funding to ensure stability and give them critical resources needed to attack pressing issues at new heights. While skeptics argue that this kind of giving leads to “open-ended grant-making without accountability”, advocates argue that this strategy breaks down typically transactional relationships between grantor and grantee and fosters a sense of shared commitment and collaboration. The question that arises, though, is whether these approaches to philanthropy will prove sustainable over time. Crisis in The Nonprofit Workforce: Talent Over Money The nonprofit sector, traditionally plagued by trying to secure funding, now grapples with a pronounced scarcity of talent. Organizations have responded by leveraging fractional team members for fresh perspectives, revamping compensation policies to incentivize staff, and engaging their boards in fundraising. Additionally, AI technology plays a crucial role in enhancing efficiency and capacity for project execution, offering a solution to the challenges posed by the scarcity of talent. By implementing these strategies and embracing AI, organizations can better address the talent shortage and position themselves for success in the evolving landscape. Bringing “Souls to the Numbers”: Engaging Gen Z in Philanthropy The spirit of activism in Gen Z is reshaping the way younger generations seek to engage in philanthropy both in terms of career interests and giving. The role of storytelling is increasingly paramount to attract and retain the interest of these donors, who are looking for a personal connection or place of familiarity to the cause. Impact metrics in the form of personal narratives and context will bring ‘soul’ to the data points and can help rally supporters’ emotional and financial investment in your cause. Community-Centric Fundraising: A Collaborative Approach Grounded by the principles of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), community-centric fundraising is a model that prioritizes the community as a whole over individual organizations. Community-centric fundraising relies on cross-organizational collaboration and the sharing of resources and opportunities among nonprofits that are all working to achieve the same collective impact in their shared community. As philanthropy continues to shift power back to the communities it serves, this fundraising model is helping to re-invest in the individuals doing the ‘boots on the ground’ work in order to best understand and support the true needs at hand. All in all, the philanthropic landscape in 2024 points toward a transition to more inclusive, efficient, and sustainable practices. The integration of AI, the rise of trust-based philanthropy, responses to the talent crisis, engagement with Gen Z, and the adoption of community-centric fundraising are just a few of the driving forces reshaping the sector in the year ahead and beyond. As we navigate this new era of philanthropy, success lies in the sector’s ability to embrace change, foster collaboration, and ensure that our efforts continue to have a meaningful impact on the global stage. The philanthropic landscape is ever-evolving. Orr Group can help you navigate emerging trends and changes to maximize your success. Get in touch with us today to learn more. Contact Us Craig Shelley, CFRE, is a Partner and Chief Growth Officer at Orr Group. Craig advances the missions of nonprofits by bringing a change-management and entrepreneurial approach to strategy, organizational development, fundraising, and board optimization. Katie Nickels is a Director and Head of Growth at Orr Group. Katie leads the firm’s efforts to advance as a leader in the nonprofit consulting industry, overseeing the firm’s complete branding, marketing, communications, thought leadership, and business development efforts. Campbell Lake is an Associate Director on the Growth team at Orr Group. Campbell plays a key role in expanding the company’s brand presence by creating content, supporting thought leadership, managing social media accounts, preparing marketing and business development materials, planning events, and more.