Shaking up philanthropy — A report on the transformative potential of 2020-2022 funding trends

“The door is open, and it’s up to us to make sure that not only does the door stay open, but that we push it further open.” – Theo Sowa

The past couple years, from 2020 to 2022, have seen big commitments in philanthropy and the broader ecosystem that funds social change. Our world has been shaped and reshaped by the pandemic. Impacts of climate change are accelerating, as is activism to address it. A different kind of attention to racial justice movements has brought renewed energy to conversations about equity.

These forces are all shaping and shaking up philanthropy. A few months into 2020, author Arundhati Roy compared the pandemic to a portal—an opportunity to break with the past and reimagine the future. But catching glimpses through the portal is not the same as stepping through. We are in a critical moment: pulled forward by the ways our world has changed, and pulled back as we settle into old habits and mindsets. Now, more than ever, is a time to reflect on the changes and possibilities we’ve seen, and to keep pushing visionary, transformative change.

People interested in the future sometimes talk about signals of change—things happening right now that could offer a glimpse of the world to come. Looking at the world in terms of signals can be helpful as they offer an opportunity to see where change is emerging and how we might orient ourselves towards it—and involve ourselves in shaping the future we want. In our latest publication, Liliane Loya, Ellen Sprenger and Lucas Paulson gathered some of the big “signals” we see in the field of funding social and climate justice, organized into five possible trends. They then asked five thought leaders and practitioners in the field of funding and philanthropy to reflect on how they see these trends in their context and across the world. Learn more by reading our philanthropy trends report.

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Post by Spring
December 15, 2022