Happy Anniversary, What Gives!!! – A look back and a leap forward!

365 days… 32 posts… 6 guest bloggers… endless moments of learning, inspiration, and passion…


What started out essentially as another excuse to blog – but with purpose – has become a bit of a part-time job for me, and I absolutely love it!  What Gives Philanthropy has given me a chance to connect with new people, reconnect with old colleagues and friends, and contribute to the dialogue surrounding philanthropy and fundraising.  Whether I’m writing posts myself, or giving a platform to passionate voices, I feel really proud of how this blog has evolved over the past year.

The 1-year anniversary of my blog is also a great occasion to pause and think about where I want to take What Gives from here.  This blog is here to stay, so how can I take it – and my passion for it – to the next level???

Well, for one thing, I’ve decided to instate a mission and vision for the blog.  I will use these statements to guide my writing, my invitations and acceptances of guest bloggers, and my target audience.  It will give more accountability, which I think is a great way of strengthening a growing entity.  Please feel free to let me know what you think!


Mission Statement
What Gives Philanthropy aims to create dialogue around philanthropy, fundraising, and related topics.  It intends to discuss and explore these topics from all angles and points of view, inviting guest bloggers to write and share their ideas, with the objective of having posts appeal to readers outside of the industry. Finally, What Gives hopes to connect fundraisers with one another, as well as those in related fields, and to philanthropists themselves, creating a community full of passion, discussion, and philanthropy.

Vision Statement
What Gives Philanthropy envisions continuing this blog, growing the frequency of posts, the variety of topics discussed, and the standard of writing and idea-sharing.  Furthermore, it wants to connect with more and more interested individuals to guest blog for What Gives, providing more perspectives and linking more passionate people together.  On a grander, long-term (15-20 years) scale, What Gives Philanthropy will move into consulting work, evolving the company into an arena for consulting, idea-sharing, and discussion, working with non-profit organizations and advising them on next steps in their fundraising efforts.


Along with instating a mission and vision, I wanted to provide you with some updates on how I’d like to see the blog post themselves evolving…

I want to see a greater variety of points-of-view shared with the readers.  As an educational fundraiser, it’s hard not to look at most things from that angle.  Therefore, I want to bring on guest bloggers who can report from other fundraising niches.  A great example is the recent post from Amie Mariana Sider of NationWares.  Amie was able to speak to fundraising to break the cycle of poverty for marginalized people around the world, something I can’t speak to directly at all.  I think a lot of readers could take Amie’s ideas and think of how they fit into their own fundraising work – I know I could! – but the post focuses on a different side of fundraising, which I love!  I intend to do more of this in the coming year; finding people out there doing totally different things, and speaking about it on this blog under the umbrella of philanthropy & fundraising.

You may not know this yet, but I’m the kind of person who works best with a plan.  I love schedules, I live by lists, and I function well with a defined structure in my life.  It’s important to be flexible, spontaneous, and easy-going, so I try not to fight that too much, but I think What Gives could do well with a little more structure.

I did a little number crunching and found out the following: (1) in 6 out of the past 12 months I posted twice and in the other 6 months I posted three times; (2) on average, I posted something new every 12 days.  I want to be consistent, and I also want to be realistic, so I’ve decided…

Moving forward, I will post every other Friday, starting today!

That way, for those of you loyal readers, you know when to expect new posts from me or my growing group of guest bloggers.  A biweekly schedule will allow for regular posts without long gaps or my guilty conscience pressuring me to post before I have a fully-formed thought.  I would love to start planning to blog weekly, but perhaps that should be saved for What Gives‘s third year of existence.  Baby steps…


And I think that’s it!  A mission & vision, an intent to break outside of my educational fundraising sphere in terms of content, and a promise to post every other Friday!  I think that’s an exciting plan for Year 2 of What Gives Philanthropy, and I hope you agree!

As always, please comment with your feedback, email me at maeve@whatgivesphilanthropy.com to connect and/or let me know you’d like to write a guest post, AND follow me on Twitter: @fundraisermaeve.


Written by Maeve Strathy

Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in educational fundraising for the past 6 years.  Click here to learn more about Maeve.

Connect with Maeve via:
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