Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The end of foundations as we know them

In this post on SocialEdge Allison Fine predicts that the age of large eponymous foundations may be coming to an end. She credits (blames?) the increasing regulatory burden on foundations, and notes that foundations are synonymous with slow giving and that this is an age demands speed.

She may be right. I'd throw a few other factors into the hopper - more choices in how to structure giving, increased awareness and interest in commercial enterprises with social purposes, and a growing comfort with online social networks that might actually give birth to the first real "net gen" philanthropic structure.

I also have to toss in my usual caveat - predictions of massive wealth transfers are fine, but we have to keep a realistic eye on the increasing lifespans of the WWII generation, the longevity of baby boomers, and the costs (to all of us) of living that long.


Alex B. Hill said...

Through my work I have found that the baby-boomer generation is the most involved at the donor and support level - maybe longevity is a plus within the philanthropic world?

Kevin said...

I predict that one of the ironies of the philanthropy boom will be the amount of grant dollars directed towards aging issues (i.e. Atlantic Philanthropies). So the baby boomers may make large donations to sustain their own well-being.