What will philanthropy look like in 2011? Taking stock and looking forward

As we come to the close of 2010, many of us are reviewing the latest studies and surveys to better understand what philanthropy will look like in 2011. Though most publications agree that the worst is behind us, there is still apprehension about what may happen next year, especially since 2010 saw many donors taking a ‘let’s wait and see’ approach to new or expanded giving that may shift philanthropic practices over the long term.

According to a study from the Foundation Center, most mid-size and large foundations in the US will maintain their 2010 giving levels or increase them. Only 15 per cent stated that their giving would actually decline. In many respects, this is good news for the many non-profit organizations that rely primarily on foundations for revenue, especially considering that most study participants also indicated that any changes made in light of the recession were not likely to be permanent. Still, foundation giving will need a few more years to rebound to pre-2008 levels, and there is the additional challenge of ‘replacing’ those foundations that closed during the recession or as a result of situations such as the Madoff scandal.

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