Is the Second Great Wave Dead?

Rohini Nilekani, an Indian philanthropist and wife of one of Infosys’s (one of the big Indian corporate success stories) co-founders, writes about the state of philanthropy in Indian and says”

“It will be a pity if, just when the second wave of philanthropy was taking root, it gets deracinated and scattered.”

As in all economic downturns, philanthropy will have rough times ahead. But the Depression did not prevent the flourishing of the First Great Wave. In fact in the midst of the Depression donor advised funds were offered for the first time and other innovations were born. There are long term trends and then cycles within those trends. I see the Second Great Wave of Philanthropy to be a multi-decade cultural event. However, just as the dot-com bust was a huge headwind to philanthropy, especially to the emerging Venture Philanthropy movement, there’s no doubt the current crisis will put the brakes on certain trends.

More on this later…