Though the basic fundamentals and principles of philanthropy have endured for countless years, the structure and execution of giving back has changed as new trends arise. In the context of 2018, the philanthropic community is set to experience — and has already experienced — a variety of trends impacted by new paradigm shifts and changes to society.

Here is a quick overview of philanthropic trends in 2018.


Big data

“Big data” is a well-known buzz term, as of the last few years, and its impact on philanthropy has been far from unnoticed. In a charitable sense, data analytics have utilized primarily to “measure outcomes and to inform future funding decisions,” essentially drawing a map for philanthropists to create and maintain initiatives based on past success. The challenge now is to determine when it is most constructive to collect data in this manner. Too many unnecessary figures can overwhelm and hinder any operation, and the mitigation of this potential obstacle looks to be a significant focal point for philanthropy in 2018.


“Rage giving”

So called “rage giving” or “rage donating” rose in prominence during 2017, as political and societal tensions in the US were reaching seemingly new heights. This concept merges aspects of traditional philanthropy and modern protest; in this case, benefactors donate to causes they support in order to combat an opposing cause or viewpoint. Rage giving continues to regularly make headlines — some breaking in the last few days alone — so expect it to only increase in momentum by the year’s end.


Giving circles

In recent years, collaborative philanthropy has become a popular approach to the charity process. These “giving circles” entail a a group of individuals or companies joining together to collectively bring about change or aid a cause of mutual importance to them. First quarter projections suggest that this trend will only continue to grow during 2018.