Billionaires pledging to give away their fortunes within their lifetimes. The rise in crowd-funded charities. The use of social media, and ‘viral’ content to raise money for charities and trusts. 2015 was a year for giving back and giving big in a myriad of different ways.
What can we expect in 2016 from the world of philanthropy, foundations, charitable organizations and trusts?
1. The Giving Pledge will attract more billionaires than ever before. This initiative was primarily aimed at US billionaires, but in 2015 saw an increase in signees to the pledge from Eastern Europe and even Russia. In 2016, we predict that some of the more philanthropic of the great Russian oligarchs will sign the pledge and donate their wealth to charity.
2. The leadership structures of foundations and charitable organizations will move into the hands of younger entrepreneurs. This may also cause a shake-up in the overall structure of many organizations. The decision to form a corporation, instead of a foundation, was taken by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan when they formed the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative after the birth of their first child. Other young leaders may start to follow suit, to ensure greater, and more direct control over the distribution of funds to those who need it most.
3. Smaller non-profit organizations and community groups will be able to harness the knowledge and resources of the larger foundations: More foundations are helping smaller groups realize their goals and sustain work at a grass roots level.
4. Charities and foundations will seek to promote their programs and create more opportunities for giving by offering better tax incentives, better structures for giving and more significant reasons for people to give big.
5. On the subject of tax – foundations and charitable organizations need to take a good look at their own financial structures in 2016. The first quarter of the year is tax season in many countries around the world, and although it has never been easier to give, it has also never been harder to stay abreast of all the tax laws and regulations governing the receipt of funds and the dispersal thereof.
2016 promises even more opportunity for foundations to raise money and attract donors. Staying ahead of the curve and on top of regulations will ensure success.