Philanthropy is much more than just signing a check to your favorite nonprofit organization nowadays. It’s an opportunity to make a strategic investment that will transform both you as the donor and the society around you. If you’re looking to become a stronger philanthropist in 2018, here are the top trends to look out for.


In today’s world, women are working their philanthropic efforts more than men and achieving even greater outcomes. According to Business Insider, women of the United States control more than half of the personal wealth. This trend is expected to continue as well.

Impact Investing

One of the most hottest topics in philanthropy today is impact investing. A survey completed in 2015 showed that 41% of foundations were currently practicing impact investing. Experts are saying that 2018 will have an even larger emphasis on impact investing.

Program-Related Investments

Foundations are using program-related investments to lend money, or invest money, in other organizations that can help further their mission. This also provides a positive return on investment as well. The IRS has authorized this process which allows for the solving of social problems by nonprofits. In addition, a portion of these philanthropic assets can be grown and recycled for future use.

Innovative Structures

Billionaires such as Mark Zuckerberg are pledging to put their donations into an LLC instead of a traditional foundation. By doing this, they donors don’t receive a tax benefit but instead they have the freedom and flexibility to accomplish their mission.


Using online tools such as sites like Indiegogo or GoFundMe have grown rapidly over the past few years. Small donors have the ability now to raise millions, even billions of dollars for their cause. Social media plays a large part in this as well. Users of sites like Facebook and Twitter can share these causes with their friends and family to help raise money on a more personal level.


As mentioned in the beginning of this blog, philanthropy is no longer just signing a check. Donations are to be strategically driven for both the donors and society to achieve the largest band for their buck. This, in turn, fuels the need for financial advisement and philanthropic consulting.