Philanthropy Reading

Google Analytics lets me see a lot about how people interact with Tactical Philanthropy. The number of comments and emails I get is one form of feedback. So is data like the most read posts, the posts that people spent the most time reading, and a number of other metrics. So without passing any judgment on the following list (or those posts left off it), these are the entries to the One Post Challenge that ranked highest across a series of web analytic metrics. If you missed any of these, click through and give them a read.

Guidestar for Sale: An argument for Guidestar selling out to Google or another online giant. Guidestar CEO Bob Ottenhoff responded in the comments.

Why Young Alumni Don’t Give: An examination of the generational differences between young alumni and university development departments. Points out that mailing donation requests to digital native alumni who don’t have a checkbook or even own stamps is not a very good strategy.

An Evacuation of the Ivory Towers: A proposal for foundation program officers to get out of their offices and become office-less (in order to better understand the communities they serve). People in the comments section loved the idea.

The Burden of “Burden of Disease”: An examination of the problems that certain metrics looked at by foundations can have on nonprofits that don’t fit the metrics’ assumptions.

Foundations Should Be More Like Public Companies: An argument for why foundations need to imitate public companies in the areas of public disclosure, customer service, and shareholder vs. stakeholder responsibility.

Charity Navigator’s Vital Mission Hides Flawed Rankings: This post makes a theoretical argument for the flaws in Charity Navigator’s model and shows evidence of how competing systems base on similar data return widely different results. This post was highlighted on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website.

Are We Killing Our Grantees?: Authored by a program director at the Lumina Foundation, this post wonders if foundations and other donors are giving too much money to certain nonprofits.

Volunteers Who Do Not Show: A rant from a volunteer program coordinator about volunteers that flake out on their commitment and what to do about it. This post was also featured on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website.

Why Philanthropy Should Embrace Controversy: A post from a family foundation employee arguing that viewing philanthropy as a nice thing to be celebrated rather than a controversial subject matter to be debated sells short the actual importance of philanthropy.


  1. I agree that Google Analytics can be a great tool for learning about your readership, however, and I freely admit that I’m not completely up on the actual how-to of Google Analytics, I am assuming that this particular tool cannot actually measure how readers interact with the posts unless they read them on your site. I do most of my reading through Google Reader and only actually visit blog sites when I feel the desire to comment, to read the comments of others or when I want to link-back to the post. I guess those factors in and of themselves may say something, but there are many interesting posts that really get me thinking that Google Analytics may never pick up on because I didn’t read them on the blog site itself. Just a thought.

  2. It is a drag that readers who use feed readers are also often your most dedicated readers. However, Feedburner does offer a fair bit of info about which posts feed readers viewed/clicked on/forwarded, etc.