I’m reviewing some of the early posts on Tactical Philanthropy this week. You can catch Monday’s posts for a little background on the history of this blog. Today I want to revisit Giving Blogs, a post I wrote on November 27, 2006. In this post I looked at the giving blog landscape and noted how immature it was and how I thought it was poised for growth.
The theme of this post is that all philanthropy related blogs were being grouped together, but that over time they would separate out into “fundraising blogs”, “nonprofit blogs”, “philanthropy blogs”, etc. This prediction has definitely come true and in fact the Chronicle of Philanthropy later launched Give & Take, their philanthropy blog summary service that lists well over 100 philanthropy blogs and breaks them into categories. On the day that Give & Take was launched I wrote about the “professionalization” of philanthropy blogging after my post on Social Media Tools for Philanthropy was one of the first posts featured. In the post I note how I separated my blogroll into my daily read and other blogs. With the launch of Give & Take I changed my blogroll to just display the blogs I read every day.
The new edition of Fast Company profiles three blogs from the Giving community. The article labels as “Best Blogs” Lucy Bernholz’s Philanthropy 2173, Jeff Brooks’ Donor Power Blog and Marc van Gurp’s Houtlust Nonprofit Advertising. I read Philanthropy 2173 and Donor Power Blog regularly. The funny thing is that the Fast Company article implies that 1) these are all “social entrepreneur” blogs and 2) that they are inside looks at nonprofits. I’m glad to see Giving blogs getting press attention, but none of these blogs cover what the article implies they do.
Philanthropy 2173 covers a broad range of philanthropic industry issues with special attention paid to the emerging “philanthropic capital markets” and the interface of internet technology and philanthropy. Donor Power Blog gives fundraising advice looks at fundraising trends, and Houtlust Nonprofit Advertising is really a blog about advertising that focuses on nonprofit advertising.
The “Giving blog” segment of the blogosphere is still relatively immature. Many of the blogs are relatively new and their numbers pale in comparison to political blogs, business blogs and tech blogs. At this point, blogs targeting a nonprofit employee readership are much more prevalent than blogs targeting donors as readers. Many blogs, like this one, cover a variety of topics and have readers from many different segments. My bet is that as the Giving blog community matures we’ll see particular niches begin to arise. Just as we use to have many “Investment Blogs”, we now have venture capital blogs, stock picking blogs, technology stock blogs, business blogs, economic blogs, etc. Over time, I expect the Giving blog community to fracture into fundraising blogs, social entrepreneurship blogs, donor blogs (with separate blogs addressing issues of Vision, Strategy and Tactics), nonprofit technology blogs, cause marketing blogs, Venture Philanthropy blogs, hybrid blogs addressing concepts like Good Capital, and philanthropy industry blogs.
I’ve tried to separate my own blog roll into Philanthropy Blogs and Nonprofits blogs. However, I’ve realized that at this point in the maturation process of our community, segmenting blogs in this way does more harm than good. So beginning today, you’ll notice that I’ve changed my blog roll into two areas: My Daily Read (Giving blogs I read religiously) and Giving Blogs (blogs that cover some segment of the Giving community). I’m always on the lookout for new or interesting voices, so let me know if you read a Giving blog that I don’t have on my list.