Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of Lucy Bernholz’s Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2014. In her fifth annual industry forecast, Lucy uses both the American and European landscapes to discuss the new “digital civil society” and the challenges and opportunities that arise from it. The Blueprint also reflects on last year’s predictions and shares new buzzwords, forecasts, and glimpses of the future.
It was a privilege for me to be part of the Blueprint production team this year, which gave me an insider’s look at Lucy’s process and how it shapes the report. Lucy is a bold and informed thinker who is constantly reading and learning from others, as well as participating in and cultivating public conversation herself. She embraces ideas from a variety of people, ranging from the expected thought leaders, to folks on Twitter (where she primarily follows those with different backgrounds and opinions), to attendees at conferences (who directly influenced certain commentary in the report such as “Video will be the next infographic”). She puts serious thought into every decision, whether she’s working out the precise wording of sentence or carrying forward an earlier prediction that hasn’t yet come to pass, like the continued growth of mobile giving. I can attest to the fact that she also places a strong value on team input.
When GrantCraft began partnering with Lucy on Blueprint last year, we did so with the belief that everyone who uses GrantCraft resources — funders, nonprofit staff, consultants, students, and policymakers — is an important part of the social economy and therefore needs to understand the context in which they operate, what trends are here to stay, and what the future might look like. However, reading a document that shares big ideas and a few examples does not alone achieve these goals. It is our hope that Blueprint will be a starting place for a larger conversation in which folks are inspired to debate the predictions and share their own experiences and observations. Through these conversations, we too hope to spark renewed thinking for you on both an individual level and within your workplaces about your own blueprint, and how it fits into the larger social sector.
We strongly encourage you to share your thoughts about Blueprint on Twitter using #blueprint14. What do you agree with? What worries you? What excites you? What predictions can you add to the mix? We’ll also share a few guest blog posts over the coming months that give more in-depth reactions to Blueprint; if you’d like to submit a post, let us know.