Inside Philanthropy 2.0: About Our Website, and What’s Next

Since launching in early 2014, Inside Philanthropy has followed a “lean startup” approach, building the best digital media site we can with the resources we’ve had. Those resources have been modest since we don’t take funding from the foundations we cover — for obvious reasons.

Inside Philanthropy has mostly been a pay-as-you-go operation. We depend on subscription revenue, and as we’ve grown our subscriber base, we’ve expanded our coverage of the funding world. We’ve added a number of new sections and resources over the past year or so — most recently, a guide to top Jewish funders — with more to come. We’ve also ramped up our reporting, with exclusive interviews of top funders. That trend will continue.

All along, IP's focus has remained the same: To explain who’s funding what, and why — with an emphasis on the why. Because, let’s face it, a lot of the “news” of philanthropy isn’t all that interesting, like say when a college lands a $20 million gift or a foundation rolls out a new program. What is interesting are the strategies of grantmakers and the backstories and motives of donors, along with the big questions of how philanthropy is (or is not) advancing human progress across different parts of society.  

Our new website, which we launched last week, is a major step forward in terms of showcasing the vast amount of content IP's writers and researchers have created over the past few years. If you explore the drop down menu under Issues, you’ll find landing pages for eight broad areas. Click on one — e.g., Environmentand you’ll find a set of featured posts, as well as links to more specialized sections — e.g., Climate & Energy. All told, we're tracking funding across 35 specific issues, with more soon to be added.

From the start, Inside Philanthropy has also drilled into giving at the local level, since around half of all charitable gifts are by local funders supporting local nonprofits. Many cities and regions have their own unique philanthropic ecosystems, and if you look under Places, you’ll see we’re now writing about giving in eight top places — again with more coming.

Inside Philanthropy has also expanded our coverage of major new donors from different sectors, analyzing givers from tech and finance, where many of today’s largest fortunes have been created, as well as the entertainment industry. We’ve added Jewish funders because there are so many major donors in this area. Click on Blogs to see all IP sections covering different donors, as well as our writing on fundraising in The Ask and Crowd Cash.

But the most powerful resource on Inside Philanthropy, if you're looking for funding, is our GrantFinder section. Here you will find 40 background guides organized around different issues and types of donors, with thousands of funder profiles. We’ve greatly expanded these resources in the past year, and much more is to come. Our goal with the guides is to identify and offer useful information about every top funder for a given issue area, place, or industry that we cover. It’s a huge project, but we’ve been making steady progress.

And don’t forget to check out our Jobs board, which we’ve also great improved in the past year. Better yet, please think about placing an ad. If you’re looking for strong candidates for nonprofit or foundation jobs, IP is a great place to reach them.

So what’s next for Inside Philanthropy? More of the same, and then some. The faster we grow our subscriber base – and those jobs listings – the sooner we can add in more reporting, wider coverage of the funding world, and deeper background guides to help grantseekers.

That was a hint, by the way.

Seriously, IP is only as good as its subscribers. So if you’ve been grazing on articles until your free page views run out, now’s a good moment to pull out your credit card. The deeper you dig into IP, the better you'll get at your job. And the more people who sign up, the better Inside Philanthropy will get.

And if you are already subscriber, thanks! We wouldn’t be here without you.

-   David Callahan, Founder & Editor