Our predictions for what 2019 might hold

20 December 2018

In part two of our bumper end of year special (episode 40), we make some predictions for what 2019 might hold.


Politics & Economics

  • BREXIT (or not…?)
  • General Election?
  • UK voluntary reporting on SDGs
  • Ongoing impact of austerity
  • Local government funding and Local Authorities running out of money
  • Populism & ongoing challenges for democracy
  • Another global financial crash?

Philanthropy & Civil Society

  • More critiques of big philanthropy; general default more critical (also in UK?)
  • Focus on think tanks, dark money etc
  • Austerity: debating role of charity vs state
  • Further closing space issues, including digital angles (misinformation, astroturfing etc)
  • Networked models for social change
  • Line between civil society and politics will come under increasing strain
  • Shifting power; democratising philanthropy
  • Next big fundraising/charity scandal?


  • Continuing tech backlash?
  • More funders focussing on algorithmic bias
  • Pushback on AI ethics- criticism that it frames the debate in the tech industry’s terms and allows them to avoid discussion of regulation etc.
  • Divergence of cryptophilanthropy and blockchain efforts
  • Blockchain will continue to bubble under surface and back office blockchain use case will be demonstrated
  • Self Sovereign Digital Identity will come to the fore
  • Charity RegTech applications will emerge
  • Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing for data collection and analysis on charity finances, philanthropy data
  • More giving by conversational AI
  • More commercial platforms adding giving functionality
  • eSports growth, digital “skins” and giving via gaming platforms (e.g. Twitch)
  • Deepfakes and challenges to online authenticity
  • More awareness of personal data bargain
  • Charity Data fines
Listen to part one of our end of year special.

About the Giving Thought podcast

The Giving Thought podcast is an exploration of trends in global philanthropy and civil society.  Since launching in May 2017, the podcast has become recognised as an insightful and influential source of philanthropic debate. 

In each episode Rhodri Davies, Director of our Giving Thought Think Tank, and guests, take a contemporary issue in philanthropy and civil society and break it down into three manageable chunks, giving an overview of the extensive work they have done on the subject.  Episodes are also available free on iTunes and Libsyn.

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Creating a world where new technologies and social trends have a positive impact on the future of civil society

Connie Gallippi on cryptophilanthropy and blockchain

Rhodri Davies our Head of Policy, chats to Connie Gallippi, Founder and CEO of the BitGive Foundation, the first US nonprofit to accept cryptocurrency donations.

Rhodri Davies

Rhodri Davies

Head of Policy

Rhodri leads Giving Thought, our in-house think tank focusing on current and future issues affecting philanthropy and civil society. Rhodri has spent nearly a decade specialising in public policy around philanthropy and the work of charities, and has researched, written and presented on a wide range of topics. He has a first-class degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Oxford.   Read more about Rhodri




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