Trista's 2022 Philanthropic Predictions

Every year, Trista Harris and her team of researchers at FutureGood curate a list of trends that we believe will impact foundations and nonprofits in the coming year. Here are our 2022 predictions.

Office Space is so 2019

A large number of nonprofits will give up permanent office spaces for coworking spaces that are available when organizations need space for meetings or when employees need a quiet place to work. This will lead to higher employee satisfaction and decrease office costs. The All Good Work Foundation is pioneering a drop in model for nonprofits. Some foundations will also give up office space and have drop in co-working time in the schools, nonprofit organization and neighborhood coffee shops in the areas that they are serving. This will allow them to better see and understand challenges and opportunities in the places they are serving.


The Brady Bunch is Canceled

We will start to give up 2D meetings with a grid of faces on the screen for immersive 3D experiences. Nonprofits and foundations need to build tech acumen to harness this trend. In this short term highly skilled meeting planners and for profit collaborators like REM5 (which created the world’s first truly virtual exhibition space highlighting racial inequalities in our nation and community) will create and guide us through this new 3D world. 


Equity, for Real this Time

Nonprofit and foundation equity focus deepens and pivots to permanent organizational change, rather than just press releases. They will be growth in Chief Equity Officers and Chief DEI Officers that report directly to an organization’s president or executive director and are responsible for managing organization-wide initiatives around DEI. We will see growth in diverse vendor policies and equitable hiring practices that will have lasting impact. If you organization needs help developing your strategy around a more equitable organizational future, FutureGood’s team can help.


The Great Reconnection Begins

We have been living in a time of physical and psychological distance. Connection is a basis human need and in the crisis of the pandemic organizations have not done a great job of meeting that need for employees. Laysha Ward has a great post about why connection currency is needed for success in work. So it is time to relearn this skill in a new context. Priya Parker’s book The Art of Gathering is a great place to start. It’s time for organizations to stop relying on accidental collaboration that happens when employees run into each other at the water cooler and purposefully create spaces for meaningful connections and opportunities for real collaboration virtually. 


Retreat to Advance

People that work in the social sector are burnt out. Intensive work, during a never-ending humanitarian crisis will do that for you. In 2022 lots of individuals and small teams will rediscover the power of retreats to give staff space to refresh, dream, and connect. The corporate sector is already riding this wave to strengthen organizational culture and increase productivity. FutureGood is bringing back our much requested retreat program in 2022 to combat burn out and give teams space to imagine the future. Learn about FutureGood’s 2022 Retreats here.


Beyond 2022 Predictions


Site visits are in the Metaverse

Site visits in the meta verse where nonprofits have a replica of in person programming space (real and potential to show to funders), Foundations will begin to purchase VR equipment for nonprofits to save on site visit costs while still giving program officers a view into the day to day work of nonprofits. This is already being tested by organization like the Clinton Foundation and many others


Becoming Web 3.0 Savvy

Web 1.0 was a democratization of information. Web 2.0 was all about platforms and making the web more manageable (but overwhelmingly run by a small number of companies). Web 3.0 is all about individuals taking their power back and decentralizing the web. In this world, people own their data and control how it is used. Blockchain technology is what makes this ownership possible. Nonprofits and foundations will have to learn how to harness this trend for fundraising, transparency and visibility.


About: Trista Harris is a philanthropic futurist and nationally known as a passionate advocate for leaders in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. She is also the author of the books How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar and FutureGood: How to Use Futurism to Save the World. She is a President of FutureGood, a consultancy focused on helping visionaries build a better future.