Skip to main content

In our final podcast episode of the year, we take a look at some of the key themes and trends in philanthropy and civil society right now and offer some thoughts on what 2024 might bring. In this first of two parts, we explore developments in the wider political and economic landscape, and take a deep dive into what to expect in philanthropy, everyday giving, grantmaking and the nonprofit sector.


  • Given the number of major elections worldwide, and the ongoing rise of political populism, will 2024 be a pivotal year from democracy?
  • Will there be further attempts to roll back hard fought aspects of social progress?
  • Will be see a global economic slowdown, or recession?
  • Is there a danger of climate becoming politicised as an issue at the exact moment we need more concerted action?
  • Will we move from talking about a decline in giving to taking action to address the challenge?
  • Will we see further focus on the need to broaden our understanding of philanthropy and to learn from other cultures?
  • Are concerns about the risks of allowing philanthropy to become ‘platformised’ going to become more acute?
  • Will giving in response to conflicts test the limits of what we are willing to count as philanthropy?
  • After a long period in which “efficiency” and “rationality” has been emphasised, are we seeing people reclaim the importance of “heart” in philanthropy?
  • Will we see more criticism of billionaire wealth? What will this mean for elite philanthropy?
  • Will the continued emergence of next gen donors start to shift philanthropic norms?
  • Will the rise of China and India start to shift the centre of gravity of global philanthropy?
  • Will we see more instances of donors withdrawing support for recipients over disagreements about positioning on contentious issues?
  • Will we see a shift in debates about tainted donations, with more emphasis on accepting money as a default?
  • Will we see the idea that companies can combine profit with purpose come in for further scrutiny (or criticism)?
  • Will the continuing loss of infrastructure start to put a strain on the charity sector?
  • How will traditional charities and funders respond to the growing prominence of social movements?

Related Links:

Learn from our past to better understand our future.

Philanthropy has a long and varied history. We’ve created bite-size chapters that you can jump in and out of to better understand philanthropy.