2020 was a historic, unpredictable year. Between the COVID-19 pandemic, increased calls for racial and social equity, natural disasters, and political unrest, it felt like this one year was ten. Through it all, old and new philanthropic organizations have strived to help those most in need, and that will continue in 2021. Here are just a few of the philanthropy trends in the new year.

Community-led organizations

The first trend is the continued rise of community-led organizations that demand more equitable aid. Even giants like USAID are testing locally-led development as a new model. But what does “community-led” mean exactly? It means that a community is the driving force of their aid. Community-led organizations are also more dedicated to finding the root cause of problems and addressing them rather than just the immediate needs. 2020 made clear that some issues have a deeper hold on society than we previously thought, and community-led philanthropy is part of the solution.

The blurring of Profit and Philanthropy

Another trend is the rise of the B corps, a type of corporate entity like a blend of a traditional corporation and a nonprofit. People no longer separate their philanthropic endeavors from their careers; they want them to be the same. Likewise, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of a company’s social goals and would instead support those with a triple bottom line. 

The New Face of Philanthropy

There is an unprecedented transfer of wealth from baby boomers to their Millennial and Gen Z offspring, and these younger generations are more devoted to volunteerism and social causes than their parents were. Expect them to devote much of their time and newfound wealth to combat various issues such as climate change and racial inequality, as well as advance LGBTQ+ rights. Philanthropy will have a new face in the future, and it will bring with it even more change than typical generational succession brings.

These are just a few of the philanthropy trends to watch in 2021. There are many more that make up what should be a very interesting year (and beyond) in philanthropy, but we’ve outlined three of the most important.