Five Philanthropy Tech Trends to Watch in 2024

Dec 14, 2023

2024 philanthropy tech trends

The era of AI is upon us. Its rapid development and influence will continue to shape the philanthropic sector and our world. As such, the ongoing tension regarding the societal concerns, coupled with the practical need to adopt, adapt and apply AI tools ethically and effectively will be the undercurrent for many of the major tech trends in 2024.

Understanding and managing the risks of AI is essential to capitalizing on its benefits and enhancing its effectiveness. Without intentionality, we risk undermining equity, amplifying biases, and eroding the public trust. The philanthropy sector will not be able to ignore these realities in 2024.

TAG has been leading the AI conversation in collaboration with our members and partners such as Project Evident. Throughout the 2023 TAG conference focused on Trust & Technology, held in Nashville last month, numerous sessions and conversations focused on AI. And just last week, TAG released the Responsible AI Adoption Framework in Philanthropy.

Couple the lightning-speed deployment of AI with other insights from the field, you’ll see 5 trends emerging in 2024 for philanthropy data and technology. Below are key themes that you’ll want to watch as the coming year unfolds.

Excellence in Grantmaking

We will see a greater focus on consensus building around excellence in grantmaking.

Driven by the trust-based philanthropy movement and coming enhancements in the U.S. government’s grant application systems, you’ll see increasing codification in both the values of excellence and the practical application of what it means in grantmaking. Technology will be a key component of delivering excellence effectively, efficiently and ethically.

An Embedded Approach to Equity

As we look to the future of equity work in philanthropy, we’ll see a more “embedded approach” to equity where technology, operational teams and programmatic staff within foundations are less siloed and more partnered in the pursuit of equity and excellence.

In 2024, the external staff responsible for strategic priorities cannot go it alone with the rise of AI and increasing dependency on technology for every aspect of mission delivery. To address this need, we will see more organizations formulating cross-functional teams to better enable strategic initiatives.

This move isn’t just good for outcomes, it will be good for team culture, too. As more technology staff weigh in on the conceptual, implementation and evaluation phases of mission-centric efforts, their job satisfaction, sense of belonging, and overall connection to the mission will deepen, as well.

More Funding for Nonprofit Digital Transformation

More philanthropic dollars earmarked to fund digital transformation. We will see commitments to fund technology go from an emergent to a growing trend.

Many nonprofit organizations are facing an existential imperative to modernize. Costs to maintain aging legacy systems, coupled with the full embracement the hybrid work environment, is continuing to foster this need. As such, foundations will be continuing to respond to this need by funding nonprofit tech so that they can continue to execute their missions efficiently. 

Investment in the Human Side of Change

Navigating this era of rapid technology change in 2024 will require intentional investments in the human side of change.

In 2024, foundations will grapple even more deeply with a multitude of changes – and with it, uncertainty and anxiety. Technology staff may be critical to deploying new tech, but they cannot steward these changes alone. We will see more technology, operational and programmatic leaders partnering to more proactively manage ongoing and continuous change. Watch for “continuous change management” to trend in 2024.

AI-Fueled Focus on Data Governance

Data governance will rise to the top for all organizations. 

While data security has been a focal point for years, the growing use of and dependency on data in philanthropy makes data governance a key priority. Fueled in part by AI and proliferation of “shadow” data, more foundations are updating their data usage policies to include AI and working with grantees to develop data usage agreements. Moreover, as federal governments pass new regulation governing the use of AI data (See EU’s efforts to regulate AI and President Biden’s Executive Order on AI). In 2024, philanthropy will deepen its role in data governance for the social sector, including advocacy for AI regulation.

More practically, the job of safeguarding sensitive information and maintain privacy will be a challenge for many organizations in the Age of AI, especially small family and community foundations with limited or outsourced technical staff. Lack of preparedness for the ever-changing landscape may open foundations up to regulatory, reputational and financial risks.

If your foundation is in the process of strengthening your approach data governance and management, be sure to attend the Data Strategy Series webinar on January 16, 2024 and explore all sessions in the series

About the Technology Association of Grantmakers

TAG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization that promotes the strategic, innovative, and equitable use of technology in philanthropy to solve problems and improve lives. With over 2000 members in 300 foundations throughout North America and beyond, TAG is the voice of technology in the philanthropic sector, providing technology professionals, tech funders, and “accidental techies” with knowledge, networks, mentoring, and educational opportunities.

Since 2008, the Technology Association of Grantmakers (TAG) has built a global community, conducted groundbreaking research, and become an advocate for investment in tech infrastructure throughout the charitable sector. For more information, visit