Tactical Philanthropy: Looking Back & Forward

This post is an intro to a series looking at the history and future of Tactical Philanthropy. The series is in preparation for a number of new initiatives we’re preparing to roll out soon.

Read Part I
Read Part II
Read Part III

Whew! I started this blog in October 2006. You can see my first post here and my first handful of posts here. You’ll recognize most of the topics, but I’d like to believe that my thinking and writing has also evolved since then.

During those three years I’ve pounded out 1,300+ posts, written more words than you’ll find in the book War & Peace and the Tactical Philanthropy community has left 3,600+ comments.

It has been a lot of fun.

Over that time, the blog has stayed true to a few core intellectual concepts, while also changing as readership grew, my writing improved (I was never a writer prior to this blog) and as I learned a lot from my readers and the many other people engaging in the grand online conversation about philanthropy that accelerated over the past few years.

We’re now on the brink of a major evolution for Tactical Philanthropy. In the next couple of weeks a number of new things will be rolling out. I owe a deep debt to all of you who have made this blog what it is today. I think that you are going to love the new initiatives and that they’ll help bring many of the theoretical discussions we have to life and ground them in practical reality.

I couldn’t be more excited.

But first I want to spend a bit of time looking back at the history of the blog and how the concept of Tactical Philanthropy has evolved. If you read that first post I wrote, you’ll note that “tactical philanthropy” is defined in a way that I now believe is far too narrow. The phrase has come to mean much more than I first thought and I hope that by tracing the history of the past three years we can come to understand the evolution and better understand ourselves.

Tactical Philanthropy doesn’t belong to me. Without you, this blog would be like an unpublished manuscript. It is the readers of this blog that have given life to the concepts we discuss. You’ve remixed my thoughts, challenged my beliefs and called me out when I was wrong. The concept of “tactical philanthropy” isn’t something I own. It has taken on a life that is separate from me. So as I trace our history and grapple with where we stand today, I hope you’ll interject and help define what this community has come to mean to you.

It has been a fun ride, but with the evolution coming in the next couple of weeks, it really feels to me like we’re just getting started.

Read Part I
Read Part II
Read Part III


  1. Congratulations, Sean. Looking for more great stuff.

  2. How appropriate that you’d be the first person to leave a comment. You were one of my very first readers Bruce. How did you ever stumbled across my little blog back when I was thrilled to get more than 10 readers a day?

  3. Old newspaper reporting habits never die. Just got to keep sniffing the wind for the good stuff. It’s been fun, and sure it will be more so in the days ahead.

  4. We’re a big fan over here at New Profit, Sean, really looking forward to what’s next!

  5. Thanks so much Jennifer. I have huge respect for New Profit, so I’m very glad to have your support.

  6. Vivanista says:

    Thank you for sharing some of your expertise as a guest writer at Vivanista and connecting us with some influential individuals. We are excited for the future!

  7. Nathaniel says:

    Can’t wait to see what comes next Sean! Keep up the terrific work so I can keep linking you in the Daily Entrepreneur 😉

  8. George Overholser says:

    Dying to see the next chapter, Sean! So many of us look to you for our daily dose of clarity.

  9. Leah says:


    Congratulations. I look forward to the future of Tactical Philanthropy.
    Strategies LLC

  10. Thanks George! Thanks for all your support.

  11. Jim Canales says:

    Congrats, Sean, and eager to see the new features. You should be proud of how this blog has evolved in some exciting ways, and those of us who benefit from your work are in your debt. Here’s to the next stage!

  12. Thanks so much Jim. You’ll note that my post today references a panel you spoke on that helped framed my approach to blogging. Thanks for all your support over the past few years.