Giving USA: What does it mean for the global SVP community?

SVPI 10/27/2021
A note from SVP International CEO, Sudha Nandagopal:

I’m excited to share with you a briefing by Sofia Michelakis, Deputy Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with her colleague Alena Owen, who serves as Associate Program Officer on the Philanthropic Partnerships team. Sofia provides additional context as a board member for SVP International as well as a long-standing SVP partner.

For those of you wondering about international data, the collection methods internationally vary considerably, making comparative data country to country often nonexistent. Where data is more available, other differences in systemic support — like universal healthcare as an example — makes comparison to the function of the U.S. philanthropic sector non-parallel.

To view the full briefing, click the button below, and enter this password: svpgivingusa

Watch the full Giving USA SVP Community Briefing

I wanted to share some reflections and questions that I see from the SVP network-level, “50,000-foot” vantage point:

  • Generational differences in giving are clear. One noticeable difference is that “millennial” donors tend to give to causes, not organizations.
  • Giving to intermediaries and pooled funds is clearly an important tactic and is also critical to democratizing funding.
  • There are patterns of giving currently that may replicate disaster relief funding and a boom-and-bust model — this runs counter to upstream systemic approaches.
  • Digital is in and it’s here to stay.
  • Individuals, especially those participating in networks like ours, tend to give without restriction. We know that the nimble and responsive giving of individuals is often key to empowering communities to advocate for the systems changes needed.


  • How can our work to reimagine giving engage younger givers now to build toward a new philanthropic future together?
  • How might our pooled fund at the network level enable us to expand SVP in a values-centric way?
  • How do we help philanthropists understand that catalyzing resources for systemic change is a long-game, deep-investment approach?
  • Can we leverage the digital environment to build more trust in the process and in frontline leaders so that philanthropists move quickly toward action?

As the world’s largest network of engaged donors, trends in giving are something we all need to be paying attention to, as it can have big implications for our work. I hope you’ll watch, reflect, and share the learnings and questions that emerge for you.

Contribute to Lasting Global Change

Invest in a movement that amplifies the power of community leaders around the world. Moving money where and when it’s needed most pushes the needle for social change in a more holistic, impactful way.

Fund Campaigns