× Services Our Work Our Approach Team Good Together Good Futures Contact Us

Good Futures

2nd May 2019

The future of doing good is not just about charities

In the latest Third Sector's Future of Fundraising series, Good Innovation co-founder Kevin says corporates in particular are becoming more 'purposeful', so collaboration and partnership are among the likely trends

Looking to 2030, for me the important question is not what will the future of fundraising look like, or the future of charities, but what will the future of ‘doing good’ be? How will society solve its big problems differently? And what role will charities play in that?

I believe charities will still play an important role in 2030. But it’ll look different and they’ll share the job of doing good much more with others, most notably committed individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses.

Even now, more and more companies are positioning themselves as "purposeful brands" – often it’s just a marketing exercise, but increasingly it’s genuine. They’re really committed to it because they know that in order to acquire and retain customers and staff they need more than just a financial bottom line.

Similarly, younger generations want to be more actively involved in solving society’s big problems – they’re confident, energetic and entrepreneurial and believe in their capacity to solve problems. And increasingly technology enables them to do that without needing to go through the medium of charity.

So, for charities, the threat is disintermediation – the possibility of becoming irrelevant as businesses, entrepreneurs and committed individuals bypass them to tackle society’s big problems differently.

The opportunity for charities is in collaboration and partnership.

If you think about most charities’ missions, they’re massively ambitious. Way too big for one organisation to solve by themselves. So, the increased desire among businesses and supporters to get involved presents charities with a great opportunity to become convenors, facilitators and platforms connecting committed people and organisations to help deliver their missions collaboratively.

Charities could be the hub at the heart of a network of people, all of whom are engaged in trying to solve the same social problem. What charities can bring to the table is expertise – a really deep understanding of the issues. They don’t have to have the solutions, they’ll just need to connect with people who can create them.

I also believe the historic division of fundraising from programmes will be more blurred in the future. Increasingly charities are designing services that create income to ensure their sustainability. A lot of Good Innovation’s work is now about diversifying charities income away from just ‘giving’, helping them commercialise their skills, assets and capabilities and exploring how they can deliver their mission and generate money at the same time.

While people will still give to charities, I think we’ll see a much more blended mix of funding in the future, combining voluntary giving and commercial funding from an exchange of value between charities and their supporters. This will require a new attitude to risk and a more entrepreneurial mentality from charities.

Doing good in the future will involve a much more fluid and diverse mix of entrepreneurs, start-ups, movements, companies and charities solving big social problems collaboratively. It’s an exciting prospect, but it will require charities to behave differently. The more open and flexible ones will thrive. Those who fail to open-up may well become irrelevant.

More from Good Futures

We've won a Global Service Design Award!

Announcements - Oct, 2019

We've won a Global Service Design Award!

We're absolutely delighted to have won a Global Service Design award for our work on Lift the Lid!!

Read Article

The Good Lab Report

Articles - Sep, 2019

The Good Lab Report

Three years ago we initiated a project with a simple but radical mission: to discover new ways to bring money into charities. This was Good Lab.

Read Article

Fundraising falling? Then set up a start-up

Articles - Sep, 2019

Fundraising falling? Then set up a start-up

As income from traditional fundraising methods starts to come under strain, a three-year project has been exploring new models of income generation for charities. Rebecca Cooney looks at the results so far.

Read Article

It all starts here

All we need from you is a desire to change something or do something – you don't even need to be sure of what – and we'll help you do the rest.