Nishant Malhotra Founder of Middle Road OPC Pvt Ltd & The middle Road platform on the evolving Sustainable Finance sector

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Nonprofits, New Age Philanthropy: Dawn of an era

The nonprofit sector in the US is very fragmented. GuideStar estimates as of July 2015, more than 1.5 million nonprofits registered with the IRS as tax-exempt, not including 6000 nonprofits not registered with IRS but included in GuideStar database. Nevertheless, the non profit sector is the third largest workforce in the United States, helped by the emergence of new age philanthropy.

Since most of the nonprofits work on their mission with little overlap between other nonprofits and in wafer-thin budgets, the social impact over the years of the nonprofits has not been very prominent. Only in the recent years, with the rise of new age focused philanthropists like Bill Gates, Pierre Omidyar, Thomas Siebel, and Warren Buffet to name a few, more accountability has come into the nonprofit sector. One of the significant structural change brought by new age philanthropists resulted in an increase in capital resources, innovation, and technical know how within the giving ecosystem. Giving has evolved into impact driven social transformation mushrooming into Catalytic Philanthropy. Catalytic Philanthropy is a collective and collaborative approach of evidence based giving for a holistic cause with measurable results.

Focus on critical sectors, including defining a measurable mission, for example, eradication of malaria by a specific date brought a renewed focus on addressing critical issues facing the society. Bountiful budget helped in designing creative solutions as well as attracting the best talent in the industry. A formative change in philanthropy started through a rigorous scientific method for identifying and evaluating critical solutions using statistics and other data-driven models. Furthermore, new age philanthropists are usually successful tech entrepreneurs, well-educated with tangible skill sets which can leverage their contacts to motivate and collaborate with other entrepreneurs, government officials for sustainable social missions. The new age philanthropists are an impetus in bringing about a mindset change around the world with the rise of for-profit social enterprises, think tanks, micro-lending organizations, and foundations to work towards measurable social change.

 

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