Tactical Philanthropy Redesign & Business Update

Tactical Philanthropy Advisors Welcome to the redesigned Tactical Philanthropy! If you are reading this via an RSS feed or an email update, please click here to view the site. The first eight months of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors has been going well. We’re growing and bring on new clients. But most importantly, we’re learning what works and what doesn’t. I recently read that “a startup is an organization trying to figure out what it sells and who its customers are” and I’m happy to say that we’ve made a lot of progress towards solving those riddles.

Before I go on, I want to point out one of the most important elements of our redesign if you are a regular blog reader. While the Tactical Philanthropy blog will continue to appear on the front page of TacticalPhilanthropy.com, the blog now has a dedicated site at TacticalPhilanthropy.com/blog. If you visit the blog on a regular basis, please update your bookmark. If you read the blog via an RSS feed or email delivery, you will continue receiving blog updates without making any changes on your part.

The redesign of our website reflects a simplification of our business model as well as a simplification of how we talk about what we do.

On the business model side, we will continue to work with administrative partners such as Schwab Charitable and The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund®. But we have also now launched the Tactical Philanthropy Foundation. The Tactical Philanthropy Foundation offers a new option for us to provide private foundation and donor advised fund back office services to clients of Tactical Philanthropy Advisors. The Tactical Philanthropy Foundation is administered by Greater Horizons, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.

On the “talking about what we do” side, I’ve realized that we made the cardinal sin of describing what we do as if our audience was the field of professional philanthropy rather than individual donors. Having tried mightily since the very earliest days of this blog to write in plain English, I find it frankly embarrassing that our original design included text such as, “To locate, contextualize, and deliver the knowledge you need to achieve social impact, we combine innovative technology driven techniques with…” I mean give me a break! Who talks like that? Well, I guess we did.

You can see our newest approach to describing what we offer in the new sections, What We Offer, Private Foundations, Donor Advised Funds and About Us. You can also now learn more about what we do through newly published case studies.

We are very interested to hear your feedback, both critical and positive. You can leave a comment on this post or shoot us an email.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a bit of a cliff hanger. When we launched Tactical Philanthropy Advisors, we announced that we planned to build a “Tactical Philanthropy Knowledge Network” that would seek to build a network of professional grantmakers who were committed to the idea of sharing their knowledge about philanthropy with individual donors and the broader field of philanthropy. Later this week, we’ll be making an announcement outlining the exciting direction that this project has taken.

Thanks so much to all of you for supporting the birth of our new firm and for the many of you who have referred friends and family to us as potential clients or otherwise made connections that have helped us in our journey. We’re still at the beginning of a long road, but I’m happy to say we’re making progress.


  1. Congratulations on the new website Sean! I applaud the new fresh design and shift to “plain English” :)! Best of luck!

  2. Adin Miller says:

    Sean, overall I really like the redesign. It’s cleaner and more accessible. I also applaud your move to presenting the information in plain English. I remind myself often that the field of philanthropy manages to generate a huge volume of jargon (see the Communication Network’s Jargon Finder: http://www.comnetwork.org/resources/jargon.html). Moving away from jargon only helps alleviate the disconnect between the field and a wider audience.
    A few suggestions:
    1. Add a search function to the blog, so your audience can better filter the information posted.
    2. To that end, I wonder if people might miss the categories (or tags) you applied to prior posts.
    3. I’d love to see a separate RSS feed for comments, which sometimes take on a whole life of their own in response to a post.
    4. Incorporate Facebook Like to engage a wider audience (see Washington Post homepage for a great example) and look into using its Open Graph protocol: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph.
    5. The justified text for the About section looks a bit funny; it might look better in a different format.
    6. You might want to reconsider listing your email addresses on Contact Page – the current set up makes it easier for spammers to capture the email addresses for their databases.
    Again, great job!


  3. Paul Spraycar says:

    Thanks for this update. As someone who currently works in ‘professional philanthropy’ but may one day transition to (or at least in the direction of) the individual donor / investor space, I really appreciate this level of openness and transparency as you develop and learn from your business. It would be great to hear more about this process from time to time.
    Cheers, Paul

  4. Thanks so much for the feedback guys!