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The purpose of philanthropy, much like charity, is to improve the overall well-being of humankind. The two concepts differ in their methods and motivations. Philanthropy is focused on long-term, lasting, strategic solutions through solving existing social problems and preventing future ones from occurring. Numerous pledges and gifts over several years are components of a philanthropic endeavor. On the contrary, charity focuses on providing immediate relief to people in emergencies, either through Acts of God or other tragedies. Charity’s goal is to ease pain and suffering in the short-term by providing emergency resources.

Several benevolent movements and trends have remained constant over the years, and 2021 seems to be an aggressive version of them. The COVID pandemic brought a new perspective to many of the world’s problems and turned us briefly into one community. Among the stories of sadness, there were also ones of hope. Having to face the same issues, regardless of race, language, or culture, was the small silver lining of an otherwise very dark cloud. This will be a factor moving forward as 2021 altruistic trends emerge.

It will be sometime before in-person events resume to their pre-COVID regularity as far as a social standpoint. Many annual fundraising events that organizations depend upon had to be canceled in 2020, so organizers will be coming up with new, inventive ways in 2021 to engage their donors while also adhering to public safety guidelines. Some benefactors might not be comfortable leaving their homes, regardless of health reports. For this reason, virtual auctions and events will be taking place. 

Many organizations, much like businesses and individuals, will be highly dependent on recurring support moving forward. One-third of non-profits will be closed by 2021. Technology will also be a huge factor in how organizations work with their volunteers and event organizers. Since 25-30% of the workforce will likely remain working from home, people are already accustomed to the new normal of working remotely, communicating with a nonprofit online seems like a natural progression. 

In addition to sprucing up websites and making use of mobile devices to reach out to volunteers, charities will also be leaning heavily into the world of social media. Over 90% of young adults use social media daily, and nonprofits will benefit by reaching out to them. Upcoming trends will include being savvier with hashtag usage, showing volunteers in action with short video clips, and promoting giving campaigns to bring causes to peoples’ attention. Another tip is to partner with a social media influencer. Together, you can exchange followers and mutually benefit from content that is posted.