Roundtable CEO Elise Westhoff recently chatted with Denver Frederick on his podcast “The Business of Giving” about the state of philanthropy, the reasons to keep DAFs accessible for all levels of donors and how the pandemic impacted charitable giving.

Here is an excerpt from their conversation. A link to the full interview is here and can be found below. 

[Denver]: So, with all that’s happened here, how do you think [the pandemic] is going to change philanthropy going forward in the decade of the 2020s?

Elise: Well, again, everyone had to be creative and shift. I think that’s a good thing. There was a lot of innovation that I hope that … telemedicine as an example. There were innovations in education. There were innovations in every area that we can think of.

And I think we should encourage innovation. We should be looking at problems in unique ways and eliminating any barriers to innovation. So, we shouldn’t have too many rules, and we shouldn’t have regulations on how to make change. So, we want to eliminate those barriers, and I really hope that continues.

I think that another thing that happened on the funding side, in particular, is that people became more flexible and nimble in terms of how they were approaching their giving. And they looked to their nonprofit … it was like we were going through this crisis, and everybody looked at the nonprofits as a partner versus viewing it as this power dynamic. And I think that’s really healthy because the people on the ground know what they’re doing. They’re the ones doing the work day in and day out. Listen to them. Trust them. Give them the tools they need to do what they need to do and view them as an equal.

I really hope that people carry that into the future because I think it was a positive thing that came out of this pandemic.

Listen to the full podcast below or read the full transcript here.

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