2014 Wildcards: Predicting the unpredictable

In addition to the big shifts that matter and my 2014 predictions, there are several “predictable unpredictables.” Several of the wildcards I included in this list last year did come to pass, including:

  • State-level action to counterbalance the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United will succeed.
  • The movement to curtail political spending by U.S. social welfare organizations will gain momentum.
  • Social businesses and benefit corporations will fight and win tax incentives and credits at the municipal and state level, even as Congress debates the tax deductibility of charitable giving.

For 2014, “predictable unpredictables” include:

  • Nonprofit organizations or consortia will take over city functions such as managing transportation infrastructure. Nonprofits will become the savior for financially strapped cities.
  • The American system will split social welfare organizations out of the nonprofit, 501(c) tax code and make make them solely subject to Federal Elections Commission regulation.
  • Proposals for moving oversight of American nonprofit organizations out of the IRS and creating a new charities regulatory authority will come to pass.
  • Benefit corporations and nonprofits will be on opposite sides of policy battles about tax privileges.
  • The European Foundation form will be enacted into law.
  • A major natural disaster somewhere in the world will set new philanthropic fundraising records. A good question to ask ourselves: as disasters (natural and manmade) become more predictable, will philanthropic responses change?

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by GrantCraft using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2014.

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