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Who’s Blogging Corporate Giving?

By Tom Watson on January 17, 2009No Comment

Who’s Blogging Corporate Giving?
By: Jessica Stannard-Friel, 01/18/07

It’s no secret that blogs are big.  Technorati, which tracks blogs, has identified 63.2 million and reports 175,000 new blogs daily and more than 18 updates every second.  And blogging has certainly arrived in the nonprofit sector.  According to Technorati, more than 10,500 of these blogs are tagged with the term “charity,” while more than 4,000 are tagged “nonprofit,” and close to 2,300 are tagged “philanthropy.”

Despite all the talk and type about philanthropy blogs, though, onPhilanthropy hasn’t heard much about blogging in the narrower sphere of corporate philanthropy and its related fields, so we set out to explore the offerings.

The group of blogs we were most familiar with before this research focus on cause-related marketing.  Selfish Giving is written by the Director of Cause & Event Marketing at a nonprofit and covers and comments on interesting cause marketing promotions and news about the field.  Cause Related Marketing, written by a principal in a marketing and communications consultancy, also highlights interesting partnerships, with a good deal of commentary by the author, along with advice for building successful cause marketing programs.  Generous or Not aggregates information about a number of cause marketing campaigns, giving the reader the who-what-how, including the percentage of proceeds going to the nonprofit partner.  (Its editor doesn’t describe her off-line role.)

We also discovered a subset of blogs about corporate ethics and social responsibility, which may be of interest to those in the related field of corporate philanthropy.  The Business Ethics Blog, written by an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at Saint Mary’s University in Canada, addresses topics ranging from Wal-Mart’s emphasis on energy-efficient light bulbs to the various “sin” industries.  The Instituto de Empresa Business School Corporate Responsibility Blog, also originates from an educational institution, this one in Spain, and most of its authors are professors at the school.  The blog reports on news and events with relevance to corporate responsibility, the environment, philanthropy, and related topics.

Several blogs address the social sector more broadly, but have content of particular interest to those engaged in corporate philanthropy.  The company Mission Measurement helps donors and nonprofits measure their social impact; the Mission Measurement blog examines related issues, including measurement of corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.  Hands On Network is a nonprofit that offers volunteerism opportunities.  The Hands On Blog covers volunteerism, including news about corporate volunteer efforts.

Particularly interesting were several blogs that profile a given company’s responsibility efforts from the inside.  Open for Discussion is the McDonald’s Corporate Responsibility Blog; it is written by the Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility and others involved in the company’s CSR efforts.  According to the blog, it hopes “to open our doors to CSR at McDonald’s.”  At Whole Foods, the CEO’s blog on the company’s website addresses issues ranging from his philosophy on the social responsibility of business to the company’s compensation policies.  Hewlett-Packard maintains a number of employee blogs on its website, which, the company says, “chronicle the unvarnished thoughts of HP employees.”  A few of these may be of interest to corporate philanthropy and CSR practitioners, including the HP in the Community Asia-Pacific & Japan Blog.

As blogs continue to multiply, certainly corporate philanthropy and related blogs will continue to emerge.  We’re also sure that we missed some great blogs that are currently out there.  If you know of any corporate philanthropy blogs our readers should know about, please share them in the comments section of this article.  Thanks!

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