Technology is changing charitable giving, and it can play a powerful role in helping your high-net-worth clients deploy their charitable capital as effectively as possible.

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation in the private sector as companies incorporated remote functionality into their tech infrastructure to stay afloat. Now that disruption is trickling down to the nonprofit sector, creating a variety of opportunities for philanthropists to drive social change and improve the world for millions of people.

The broader philanthropic ecosystem relies on constant, effective engagement between donors and grantees in order to function. When those interactions become fragmented, protracted or unproductive it can have a downstream effect on the schools, hospitals, religious institutions, museums, disaster relief efforts and other charitable organizations that rely on external funding to operate. For these reasons, it’s critical for all the participants in the ecosystem to explore software, platforms, tools and general resources that can augment core infrastructure and operations, while facilitating connections and minimizing friction.

This type of overhaul may seem like a costly undertaking, especially in areas that have limited IT budgets and are fee-sensitive, but being tech-forward will pay off later on.

The good news is that tech solutions abound as vendors and providers focus on streamlining the experiences of key stakeholders such as seasoned philanthropists, individual donors, charities and other types of grantees, each of whom face different, interconnected challenges.

According to Giving USA, individuals contributed $324.1 billion to charitable causes last year, accounting for 69% of giving, while family and corporate foundations made $88.6 billion in grants, which made up 17% of gifts.

Whether your client base includes individuals who give on the spur of the moment, families who pursue their charitable interests together, or seasoned philanthropists with sophisticated, long-term granting strategies, you can benefit by knowing these six trends, which can help you and your clients navigate this rapidly changing landscape and maximize the potential for social impact in the coming years.

1. Automation is simplifying operations and limiting costs.
Cloud-based digital processes and artificial intelligence foster seamless giving, reduce overhead and save valuable time. This means individual donors can make gifts more quickly and easily while family foundations can reduce processing errors and the need for paid staff.

2. Transparency is increasing through public platforms and technology.
Clarity about where and how money is being used boosts donor confidence and makes it easier to measure success. Purpose-built tools for monitoring impact can help disciplined funders understand how they’re effecting change; where problems exist that need attention; and whether they’re making progress with specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

3. Social networks are accelerating momentum and visibility in charitable giving.
There’s power in crowdfunding and social media campaigns that connect people with similar interests, values and priorities. In turn, these platforms can create greater visibility for a cause and help larger funders take advantage of the multiplier effect—boosting the value of their contributions with matching incentives.

4. New platforms and apps are engaging next gen donors.
Younger donors have a stronger interest in philanthropy, and they crave tech-centric ways to give with ease. New apps make it easy for individual givers to contribute to the causes they care about, making it a more central part of their lifestyle. At the same time, foundations have more options than ever before when building out their tech stack to meet their infrastructure and operational requirements, creating an environment that will engage the rising generation of family members.

5. Strategic infrastructure is maximizing utility and increasing the return on investment.
The collection of technologies that have emerged for building, running and growing charitable entities—with the help of dependable partners—can free up high-value resources for philanthropists to devote to activities like strategy and programs. Turning to vendors that understand the nuances of nonprofits can accelerate implementation and help address workflow issues that intensify when adapting mainstream tools for charitable use.

6. Omnichannel approaches are enabling grantee efficiency.
If funders take responsibility for expanding accessibility and reducing friction for grantees, it can ensure that the time and effort spent fundraising can be redeployed in the form of charitable aid. Digital payment methods and grants management software are paving the way for grantees to get faster access to capital for their cause.

The key takeaway? Giving and technology are increasingly intertwined—a trend that has promising implications for improving the world around us, now and in the future.

Hannah Shaw Grove is the chief marketing officer of Foundation Source, the nation’s largest provider of management solutions for private foundations. The firm works in partnership with financial and legal advisors as well as directly with individuals and families.