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Future of high impact philanthropy - Initial perspective

We are very pleased to announce a new topic focus for some events and wider discussions during the first half of 2017. Building on to some of the insights gained from previous events, including on the future of wealth and the future of doing good, This new initial perspective explores potential future shifts in the field of High Impact Philanthropy. It is authored by Prof. Cathy Pharoah of Cass Business School London. It highlights some of the issues being raised as the worlds of impact investing and philanthropy increasingly overlap as more organisations and investors seek to help create lasting change. Many are now asking about how donor expectations will evolve, how giving will scale, how best to create and measure impact and where new models within philanthropy will emerge.

To address these and other questions, we are running a series of events over the next few months in London, Mumbai, Singapore, New York and Dubai that will explore the emerging shifts, understand new global and regional priorities and highlight what leaders in the fields of philanthropy and impact investing feel will define success. As with all Future Agenda projects, we will build on THIS initial perspective by bringing together a rich mix of expertise to challenge assumptions, share insights and co-create an enriched, informed future view for all.

If you would like to get involved as participants or hosts, do let us know and we can share more details. Equally if you have any feedback on the initial perspective or other comments do let us know by email, twitter or linked-in and we will make sure these are shared and included in to the mix.

At a time where much is being asked of philanthropy and its ability to successfully direct much-needed investment into key areas of challenge and opportunity, we very much look forward to hosting this important debate and sharing insights.

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Future of high impact philanthropy - Initial perspective

  1. 1. Future of High Impact Philanthropy Prof. Cathy Pharoah Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy | Cass Business School The world’s leading open foresight program
  2. 2. Context This ini;al perspec;ve on the Future of High Impact Philanthropy kicks off a series global discussions that are taking place through 2017. It is an ini;al view to be shared, challenged, built upon and enhanced.
  3. 3. Changing Donor Expecta>ons Future donors will expect social ventures to be managed in business-like ways, and business to be more socially and environmentally engaged.
  4. 4. Heightened Scru>ny Philanthropic involvement will be increasingly vulnerable to the public distrust and scep;cism of the post-truth society which has followed the major financial and corporate governance crises.
  5. 5. Good Governance Philanthropic ins;tu;ons will have to be transparent, fit for purpose and geared up for governance challenges (e.g. accountability of major wealthy donors).
  6. 6. Unleashing the 1% The richest 1% in society now own around half of the world’s wealth and could choose to contribute much more than they do.
  7. 7. Giving Resurgence A duty to give, rich or poor, is embedded in all the world’s great faiths and cultures. Driven by those who have benefiRed most from the growth of global wealth we see a resurgence in social norms around giving.
  8. 8. Strategic Philanthropy Funders are shiSing from reac;ve, responsive grant-making towards pro-ac;ve and impact-driven ‘strategic philanthropy’ which drives spending decisions towards outcome achievement.
  9. 9. Systems Change To solve complex social problems, founda;ons and funders shiS to an emergent model that takes on board the mul;ple systems and contexts of social depriva;on, and iden;fies the gaps in policy and prac;ce.
  10. 10. Fixing Capitalism Seeking to avoid the systemic faults in global capitalism that have created a perpetual poverty machine for some, people try out concepts that shaRer current structures and systems.
  11. 11. Social Investment Social investment is a powerful force in the future of philanthropy going beyond non-returnable grants for charitable purposes to social venture investment with the poten;al to grow social and financial return.
  12. 12. Open Public Services Open Public Services will increasingly offer ambi;ous social purpose ventures scope to develop and expand through delivering local statutory services.
  13. 13. Subsidised Investment Social investment remains heavily subsidised by philanthropic and public funding, which will con;nue to be needed to develop the capacity of mul;ple small-medium social ventures reliant on reducing statutory grant support.
  14. 14. Micro-venturing Smaller philanthropic ventures present an on-going market gap, and imagina;ve re-thinking is needed for organisa;ons that, because of their mission or capacity, may never reach financial independence.
  15. 15. Direct Philanthropy A growing opportunity is to use social finance to tackle poverty and financial exclusion at source. Micro-finance products coupled with mobile phone and smart card technologies will be increasingly powerful.
  16. 16. De-risking Social Investment A key barrier to social investment for social ventures with few assets and limited track record is risk. Innova;ve prac;ces, structures and partnerships emerge.
  17. 17. Appropriate Comparison A significant challenge to building investment in emerging enterprise is to establish adequate social, financial and environmental growth indicators that can benchmark performance.
  18. 18. Effec>ve Altruism A resurrec;on of u;litarian no;ons of calcula;ng ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ replaces personal preference or idiosyncrasy with scien;fically calculated maximum social impact, forcing hard choices for many.
  19. 19. Partnerships for Impact Agencies from all sectors will expand cross-sector and cross-na;onal partnering, to achieve leverage and impact. Founda;ons increasingly co-fund with each other.
  20. 20. Philanthropic Disintermedia>on Digital technology challenges established structures and reveals new philanthropic pathways. One consequence is the trend towards philanthropic disintermedia;on.
  21. 21. Digital Engagement High impact philanthropy will need to capture the personal ini;a;ve and engagement which digital technology enables to drive growth and new ways of targe;ng social needs.
  22. 22. Fragmented Philanthropy Major new philanthropic giving investment is likely to be donor-mo;vated, driven and directed, bypassing charitable structures. An issue is how large- scale private donor engagement relates to exis;ng philanthropic ini;a;ves.
  23. 23. Inves>ng in Philanthropy Capacity Philanthropy invests liRle in its own development, always priori;sing front-line services. A future challenge is to find resources for its own infrastructure development, par;cularly in building business and enterprise capacity.
  24. 24. Cost and Risk of Failure As philanthropy concentrates responsibility for change in the hands of the few, failure to deliver will present significant costs and risks to society.
  25. 25. Micro Social Finance Larger-scale successful social business is increasingly well-served by social finance. The challenge is to make it work for the specialised, smaller-scale, and less marketable but vital purposes which philanthropy contributes to society.
  26. 26. Ques>ons As we share and build on this view we would like to know what you agree with, what you don’t, what is missing and, most importantly, what will be some of the key impacts and implica;ons – both globally and regionally.
  27. 27. Future Agenda 84 Brook Street London W1K 5EH +44 203 0088 141 The world’s leading open foresight program What do you think? Join In | Add your views into the mix @futureagenda