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The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Charity Navigator's 2017 Predictions for Charitable Giving and Charities

Charity Navigator's 2017 Predictions for Charitable Giving and Charities
It's a new year, which means there are new trends that are emerging within the philanthropic sector. Charity Navigator is breaking down the potential new patterns that might arise during 2017.

Increased Awareness and Activism- With a heightened sense of political and economic instability, many Americans are turning to charities to ensure their values are represented in their communities and across the country.  Since the election, we predict that more people will be engaging with the nonprofit sector in 2017 through volunteering and donating. Don’t forget to use Charity Navigator to help you determine which organizations you’ll be investing your time and resources into!

Impact Measurement- Communication between donors, volunteers, and charities regarding their results is becoming even more pertinent. Donors and volunteers don’t interact with charities simply to feel good. Rather they’re seeking to do good by partnering with efficient and effective charities to make change with their commitments. We expect to see charities investing more time in presenting relevant data to their donors and volunteers to prove their accountability, transparency, and overall health.

Reductions to Charitable Deduction Benefits- Attempts to reduce the charitable deduction benefit isn’t a new issue, but the threat level is up again. We predict that the nonprofit sector will continue to fight for this important tax benefit which many polls have shown the public is in favor of keeping in place.  

Mobile Fundraising- While a considerable amount of donors still contribute to charities through the mail, donations through mobile applications and websites are on the rise. In the new year we predict charities will continue to invest in efforts to make their online platforms more streamlined and user friendly. This helps to increase donors’ confidence in the donation security and the amount donations charities receive. This is also the most effective way for charities to reach the next generation of donors, millennials.

Donor Advised Funds- A recent report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy revealed that contributions to 85 of the largest donor advised funds “nearly tripled from 2008 to 2013, while total charitable giving in the United States grew by only 13%." As 2016 came to a close, there is some evidence that donors may have increased their contributions into donor advised funds to frontload tax deductions ahead of the possible coming changes, but their distribution decisions are still undetermined. With so much money awaiting distribution, we predict that charities will step up their efforts to solicit donations from donor advised funds and that there will be more debate about increasing the minimum, required annual payout from donor advised funds.

What predictions do you have for the sector in 2017? Let us know in the comments below!

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