Blogging the Conference on Foundations

Lucy Bernholz, who blogs at Philanthropy 2173, is among those who have been invited to blog live from the upcoming Council on Foundations Conference in Seattle. Lucy, who also blogged the Global Philanthropy Summit at Oxford, recently wrote:

None of this is new in context of the old media/new media yabber that has been going on for last six+ years. It is new for philanthropy - it is a step toward transparency that few funders are used to...This transparency is good, foundation executives can jump in and be part of it - there is no need to be afraid, this is not about putting back Imus on the air. Its about a conversation.

Tactical Philanthropy's Sean Stannard-Stockton, who was also invited to attend the Seattle Conference, writes:

I can tell you that since I received the invitation from CoF, a number of employees of the world’s largest foundations have subscribed to my blog. My understanding is that there was a lot of internal debate at the Council on whether or not to invite bloggers to the conference. I’m sure that a segment of the members are still very wary about our participation. But if, again in the Council’s words from above, “philanthropy depends on the media to spearhead deep, thoughtful discussion of social issues” then I think they’re going to like what they find.

Lucy and Sean are highly knowledgeable about the philanthropic sector. Each is also consistently passionate about synthesizing disparate pieces of information to inform the efforts of those who don't have such access. Importantly, they write in a manner that is also inviting.

Fueling these efforts is the very visible Chronicle of Philanthropy which now provides a daily highlight from philanthropy blogs. All in, it appears that Lucy may be offering more than wishful thinking. Transparency, which has always been the exception to the rule in this realm, is being challenged just as in the corporate world. Yet another signpost pointing to the end of philanthropy as usual.

Susan Herr

Posted at 7:46 AM, Apr 19, 2007 in Accountability | Permalink | Comment