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My Take on Lucy’s Ten Predictions

We sponsored a thought-provoking free webinar this week with Lucy Bernholz, author of the Philanthropy 2173 blog. It was no surprise to us that we had one of our best attended sessions of all-time with over 1700 people in attendance since Lucy is consistently one the sharpest and most interesting prognosticators in the nonprofit sector. You can listen to the webinar or read more about it here:

In case you missed them, here are Lucy’s ten predictions for 2011:


  1. More Spend Down Foundations
  2. Gaming as Frame
  3. Impact investing surpasses philanthropy
  4. Data analysis and visualization skills
  5. Mobile phones replace credit cards


  1. Structured Disaster Relief
  2. Institutional philanthropy more collaborative
  3. Scale as a networked phenomenon

POTENTIALLY Revolutionary

  1. New Rules – Citizens United and multinational oversight of philanthropy
  2. China and India on top

A couple of them really caught my attention:

The rules will change – Lucy suggests that many of the regulations governing nonprofit organizations are going to change. She thinks that by “2020 philanthropy in the US and trans-nationally is going to be operating under fundamentally different rules.” I agree with her; we’re already starting to see shifts: social businesses, B Corps, changes in tax deductibility, etc.

Disaster relief giving will be more structured and planned – I wrote a blog on this recently regarding Haiti. We here at GuideStar are already working with a group of nonprofits to share data and tools. Donors are definitely looking for ways to send more money to organizations that have the capabilities to truly make a difference.

Impact investing will surpass philanthropy – I especially like this one. Our current work with Hope Consulting is designed to find out what kind of data and tools it will take for donors to be purposeful and intentional in their giving. The first Money for Good estimated that as much as $45 billion per year could be re-directed to more high performing organizations.

What do you think about Lucy’s 10 predictions? Your thoughts are welcome in the comments section.

Topics: Just Because Webinars GuideStar