The nature of charitable giving is changing because philanthropists are beginning to take fundraising into their own hands, Sprinkel Grace told delegates at the final session of the International Fundraising Congress in the Netherlands last week.
She said there was a new generation of donors who had dreams of solving the problems of the world and increasingly believed they could do it without the help of a charitable organisation.
She described the "citizen philanthropists" who were using the internet to fundraise directly for causes they believed in.
"It is the dreams of donors that are driving philanthropy now, not direct marketing or campaigns," she said.
Delegates were told they must treat donors as partners and let them define their own level of involvement or risk losing their support.
"Our tinpot style of fundraising doesn't work any more," warned Sprinkel Grace. "We need to sell our sector as a solution, not a roadblock to the fulfilment of philanthropist's dreams and ideas."