Philanthropic giving is huge. In America alone, philanthropic giving reached $485 billion in 2021. Despite uncertainty about further spread of COVID-19, the total amount of philanthropic giving grew by 4% year over year. Philanthropic giving is driven by mission, purpose, and passion. Donors are focused on building a more inclusive and equitable society. They also aim to drive systemic change and sustainable social progress.
The majority of philanthropic giving went to religion, education, health care, and so forth. Gifts for arts, culture, humanities, and environment also saw double digit growth. Prior to Covid-19, approximately 78 million citizens of the United States volunteered and contributed 5.8 billion hours for public benefits. Religion, sport, culture, and art are key areas where people were actively engaged in volunteering top onto their philanthropic giving.
Some might have done philanthropic giving to receive a charitable tax deduction. Though, donors tend to provide their money, capabilities, and professional acumen to support charitable causes in ways that also sharpen up their own competitive edge. Philanthropic giving is an act of goodwill. Philanthropic giving helps to improve the well-being of humankind and prevent social problems.
Philanthropic giving is a driving force of social change. It can be in the form of social movements for civil rights, labor, women’s empowerment, environment, and LGBTQ+ issues. Philanthropic giving is not only providing necessary funding, but also advocacy support for social change. Oftentimes, donors do not want to let their left hand know what their right hand is doing. In order to reach a critical mass of philanthropic giving, it has to be done proactively and also transparently.
We have to learn to give. We can give our time, expertise, love, and compassion. We should also educate young generations to be equipped with knowledge, experience, and skills to be more compassionate and engaged in various social causes. We don’t have to be rich to give. None of us can ever run out of something worthwhile to give.
Philanthropic giving also means following the frontlines. Next generation leaders can catalyze entrepreneurship and innovations for philanthropic giving from early on in their life to strengthen citizenship, organizations, and communities.
Philanthropic giving has long contributed to education. Leading research universities around the globe have produced leaders for all sectors and fields. Universities suit their students with a broad range of skills and the inspiration to shape the world for the better. Students will go on to tackle the most serious crises of humankind such as climate change with what they have learned.
The next generation leaders will be more representative by and large thanks to the diversity of philanthropic giving efforts. Universities can be a magnet for talent. Philanthropic giving in the form of endowment has made every part of the advanced learning experience more affordable for students from all backgrounds. Generosity building upon the tradition of philanthropic giving can help shepherd students into a brighter future.
Philanthropic giving should be strategic so that it can prepare every mission-driven student to pursue their last job, not just first. It would help students with intellectual framework, competencies, and digital literacies that are necessary to confront the challenges of tomorrow, not just today. It shall help connect the dots especially for students to have the meeting with mentors and advisors on a potential career path and help them to build necessary career portfolios that they are destined for. Philanthropic giving has to aim to connect people with disadvantaged backgrounds to bring their personal aspirations to fruition bearing public benefits.
Philanthropic giving certainly helps embrace obligations for those who have been privileged with their achievement and reputation. It will help them to leave the world just a little bit better off than they have found it. Science, for example, is not just for the elite or done by the highly educated. Philanthropic giving shall open science to innovatively devise solutions engaging all backgrounds and disciplines from artists to engineers or entrepreneurs.
The impact of the work of philanthropic giving is certainly beyond business. It shall focus on effect change by training most skilled and compassionate leaders for all kinds of organizations to carry on philanthropic giving efforts. Everyone has to have a sense of belonging where their values are fully supported and encouraged and feel deep in their skins that they are contributing to meaningful solutions for the betterment of society.
Digital assets are poised to disrupt philanthropic giving. Crypto donation is like a lab for philanthropic giving. Some progressive blockchain leaders now make it possible to donate crypto currency to support STEM (meaning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. Donors tend to be young high-net-worth individuals.
Philanthropic giving in crypto is also inspiring young generations to give by matching and facilitating directly between donors and recipients. It provides a cause-based impact investing opportunity for crypto holders in unprecedented ways. Blockchain projects would offer donors the opportunity to easily participate in and monitor the philanthropic giving of projects they support.
Crypto donations are expected to be the fastest growing trend in philanthropic giving. Tax authorities like the IRS classify cryptocurrency donations as property, meaning they are not subject to capital gains tax and are tax-deductible. Hence, philanthropic giving is tax-deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Some progressive churches in Silicon Valley accept crypto, for example, that is no different than accepting a stock, property, or contribution-in-kind. Nonprofit leaders in education should also consider acceptance of such digital assets as part of philanthropic giving. They should also determine whether to sell the donated crypto promptly. Like many other donated assets, school administrators should decide if they would keep it as an investment or not.
Philanthropic giving is like a bet on how to move the needle on a social issue. Similarly, crypto holders would appreciate the long-term value of their bold investment positions. They can choose to bring that approach to their philanthropic giving as if they are investing in ideas and projects that may take years to manifest like making grants to education that take a generation to realize.
Bringing the mindset of crypto investing to philanthropic giving especially in education presents uncharted opportunities to elevate new causes and potential solutions. It will help bring up a fresh view on long-standing social challenges. Practice of philanthropic giving is not simply a windfall to people poorer than donors. Instead, it is an effective and thoughtful way to continue building the world and expanding the horizon of what crypto can do for the world.