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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
Ah, December. The anticipation of snow, unless you’re already several feet under. The warmth of a fire, unless you live in the south. The excitement of winter holidays, unless you’re a grouch. Don’t forget the thrill of reviewing the year gone by and the accuracy of previous prognostications, while also prepping for the foolhardiness of sticking your neck out yet again and claiming trends, key changes, and buzzwords for the year to come. Ah, December.
Last year at this time on this very site I made several rather rash predictions. Briefly, they were:
In brief, I was right on numbers three and four, wrong on number one, and we don’t have the data yet to assess number two. Number five was so poorly worded (my fault) that I can claim to be correct simply by being selective about which regulatory frames I meant. Apologies—I’ll do better next time. In that same post I also identified six trends or events that would matter to philanthropy in 2008. They were:
It is pretty clear in December 2008 that the economy and health care finance have profoundly shaped the direction of philanthropy in the last year—to say nothing of their effect on the U.S. presidential election. Discussions of metrics and markets were plentiful and some progress has been made—from the Acumen Fund’s Portfolio Data Management System and mainstream media’s attention to metrics to conferences on Social Capital Markets and the buzz around philanthrocapitalism. Bill Gates as philanthropist has garnered attention from his speech on creative capitalism to his retirement in June to his launch of a new company to the rapt attention paid to the Foundation’s investment policies and grants budgets. And, finally, the sector is beginning to pay real attention to racial diversity of leadership, grantmaking, encore careers, and next generation leadership issues—plenty more to be done, but I’d argue these issues have moved out of the wings and into the center of the room.
So what about 2009? Here are some thoughts. I’ll be back with more:
What do you think? What do you predict? What will you stick your neck out about?
Lucy Bernholz is the Founder and President of Blueprint Research & Design, Inc, a strategy consulting firm that helps philanthropic individuals and institutions achieve their missions. She is the publisher of Philanthropy2173, an award winning blog about the business of giving and serves as Executive Producer of The Giving Channel on Fora.tv.