Philanthropy & Blogs

What exactly does it mean that the Council on Foundations has invited me and other bloggers to cover their conference under a press pass? As I discussed when I accepted the invitation, I had some hesitations:

I do not think of myself as a member of the press. I’m not a reporter. I think the role of bloggers in general is more one of commentator/analyst/columnist. But in talking with the Council it was clear to me that they “got” what my role should be.

This morning the San Francisco Chronicle ran an article about the role of bloggers at the Democratic California State Convention. The gist of the story is that five years ago, there was one blogger in attendance.

“This year, a record 50 Internet-publication bloggers will join the estimated 400 credentialed "mainstream" media in the press room to track the doings of seven Democratic presidential candidates and 2,100 California party delegates this weekend.

And those numbers don’t count the estimated dozens of mainstream media journalists who will be blogging for major newspapers or the unknown numbers of delegates who will be producing their own running commentary of the convention.”

To me, the best kind of blogging is informed, opinionated, personal and conversational – not just in tone, but in actually being part of a larger community of diverse opinions. The worst kind of blogging is ill-informed soapboxing. Political blogs have both types of bloggers. I hope that the philanthropy community can cultivate an online culture that revolves around my first set of standards. I think we’re on the way there.

In would be interesting to see the 2012 edition of the Chronicle on Philanthropy’s COF conference coverage. Maybe it will begin…

“A record 50 Internet-publication bloggers attended the Council on Foundations conference this week. And that number doesn’t include the dozens of foundation CEOs and philanthropic leaders who blogged their thoughts or the unknown number of attendees who reflected on their experiences in their personal blogs…”


Special Message: Sean Stannard-Stockton will be live blogging the Council on Foundations conference from Sunday April 29-Tuesday May 1. During that time, this blog will be an open portal for a lively debate around the conference topics. This is your opportunity to express your thoughts and be heard by the wider community. Email your thoughts by clicking here or leave a comment by clicking on the “comments” link in the lower right portion of this post.

This is the first time the Council on Foundations has invited bloggers. Take part in something special and make sure you participate.


  1. Or maybe in 5 years the conference will be organized around what everyone — inside and outside foundations — has been blogging about during the preceding year.

  2. Face to face interaction is invaluable. But blogging’s free form, flowing debate is good at refining ideas and would be an excellent way to set an agenda.