Our Project The New Context U.S. Philanthropy Today Philanthropy Tomorrow Your Choices Cultivating Change in Philanthropy
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Your passion may be curing disease, reforming education, supporting artists, fighting hunger, or anything else that philanthropists support. But have you noticed that philanthropy itself is changing?

The final report of our four-year initiative shows you how long-term trends are combining to create a new reality for every gift and every giver. One result is that anyone who wants to give has more choices than ever. We believe that if you understand how philanthropy is evolving and could evolve in the next generation, you will make better decisions today in support of the issues, institutions, and communities you care about most.

Looking Out for the Future: An Orientation for Twenty-first Century Philanthropists is designed to help you make sense of your choices in four ways. First, we explain the new context for philanthropy, which we call “the new ecology of social benefit." Then we show you how many different types of philanthropists (individual and institutional) are responding in imaginative ways. The new context and the emerging responses to it will combine to create the future of philanthropy, which we explore next by telling stories, looking back from the year 2025. Finally, we outline several principles to help you choose your own path into the future.

Looking Out for the Future was conceived as an accessible document that could be read as a whole, or pulled apart by those interested only in reading particular sections. Each of the four major chapters works as a standalone document. They do build on each other—so we hope that if you read one, it will entice you to read others.

Here are the various ways you can access the final report:
  • For an overview of the contents of Looking Out for the Future, consult the executive summary.
  • You can obtain the full report right now. While the final printed report is slightly oversized and in color, it was designed so that it could be read just as well in black and white, with slightly smaller text, when you print it yourself.
  • If you want to request a bulk order of the full-color printed report, please contact us with information about your organization at futureofphilanthropy@monitor.com.
  • The first item listed in each of the first four content sections of this website is a slightly edited version of the corresponding chapter from Looking Out for the Future. “The New Ecology of Social Benefit" is in The New Context. “The Seeds of Change in Philanthropy" can be found in US Philanthropy Today. “Imagining the Future: Looking Back from 2025" is located in Philanthropy Tomorrow. And “Choosing Your Path: Principles for Seizing the Opportunity Ahead" is in the website section entitled Your Choices.



 
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