Giving is Everyone's Business
Sparks & Honey, MFF, and Morgridge Family Foundation

In 2020, there has never been a better time to unravel the cultural landscape of giving. As Sparks & Honey launches this report, the coronavirus pandemic is raging throughout the world, longstanding inequalities are now in the limelight, our environment is burning, and economic chaos is causing uncertainty for people around the world. We need giving now more than ever. Giving is about preserving the resources of our collective future.

It is also fundamental to an organization’s role in society. Giving points to a world that treats everyone, from communities to families, suppliers, customers and your neighbors, as beneficiaries of shared growth.

In this report, Sparks & Honey, MFF, and Morgridge Family Foundation explore the seismic cultural changes that are shaping this future, where technology, changes in human behaviors, and new consumer expectations meet new business models and data sets of giving, and strategies that reconsider how we work together to solve some of the biggest challenges out there. 


sparks & honey and the Morgridge Family Foundation started thisresearch journey with a question:

What are the cultural shifts impacting the future of giving, and what are the critical implications and opportunities for organizations and giving institutions — now and in the future?

To answer that question, we followed a unique methodology designed to decode culture by bringing together the best of big data and human expertise. Our starting point is our cultural intelligence system, QTMwhich collects signals from over a million global data sources from over 140 countries in over 50 languages, 24/7. These signals fall into three categories:

  1. What people consume (publications, video content, etc.).
  2. What people say (social media, blogs, Reddit, Yelp, etc.).
  3. The infrastructure of culture (academic discoveries, patents, startups and legal decisions). QTM uses 5 layers of AI to source the most energetic global signals and categorize them according to our proprietary trend taxonomy, allowing us to quantify and predict how those trends are growing over time.

We analyzed patterns in our data sets connected to giving and identified the shifts shaping the giving landscape. These core shifts became the basis of interviews with thought leaders, including, sparks & honey Advisory Board members from the public and private sectors, who shared perspectives touching on the technology, science, communications and semantics, and other aspects of the giving landscape.

We organized our findings in five chapters: Existential Risks to Humanity, Youth Rising, Diminishing Societal Trust, Brand as Benefactor and Precision Funding. Each chapter covers three change areas that present important opportunities for leaders to shape the future of giving and with it, the future of organizations of all kinds. 

Download the report here.