Foresight Predictions for 2014

What can we count on happening in the next 12 months? Here’s a list of predictions to watch over the next year.

Regulations, industry norms, and infrastructure

  • At least one major nonprofit/foundation infrastructure organization will close up shop.
  • Nonprofits and associations will experience new regulatory challenges from unexpected sources such as the sharing economy (for instance, from
  • Digital tools for humanitarian aid will be common in disaster response and will become part of disaster infrastructure.
  • Donor disclosure rules will return to the media spotlight with the U.S.’s 2014 midterm elections.
  • We will experience a major scandal in the crowdfunding marketplace.
  • Beneficiaries of other services will begin to organize and be heard in the way that the “e-patient” movement is beginning to change medical care and research.

Data and technology

  • One winner (at least) of the Gates Foundation’s Data Interoperability Grand Challenge will launch a widely-used new product or service for social sector data by December 2014.
  • New ecosystems of service providers, consulting firms, and constituent management companies will evolve to help associations and foundations manage crowdfunding campaigns.
  • More nonprofits and other associations will use MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) as professional development opportunities for their staffs.
  • New mobile money tools that make phone-tophone, peer-to-peer payments easier will make informal networks of people even more visible, viable, and important.
  • Mandatory e-filing for all American nonprofit tax returns will cause new backlogs at the IRS, ironically slowing the timely sharing of nonprofit data.
  • Github will become a widely used, meaningful sharing platform for nonprofits. (And, you will learn what Github is.)
  • Feedback Labs will gain real traction, and similar efforts to provide beneficiaries a voice will launch beyond development aid.
  • Video will be the next infographic.


  • Humanitarian groups will develop codes of ethics and new standards for digital privacy.
  • Americans and Europeans will make greater use of “personal privacy” protection services on the Internet; that is, they will use services that allow them to own and control their own data.
  • A nonprofit standard for data privacy will develop.


  • American foundations will launch several new programmatic initiatives rooted in concerns about the polarized and paralyzed state of American democracy.

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders 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.