Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Receiving the Lowdown on What's Up in Giving

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Receiving the Lowdown on What's Up in Giving

Article excerpt

Researchers profit from visiting a site covering nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are a gray area for many editors. Coverage of philanthropic foundations and grants usually is assigned to the business beat, but such groups are not always subject to the same scrutiny as commercial enterprises. If we don't give much attention to the business of giving, it's not that we're being particularly charitable to charities; it's just that we often don't understand them.

It is an unusual journalist who will spend time learning about the tax laws affecting corporate giving, the latest innovations in fund raising, the names of the biggest contributors in the nation's public and private sectors, and the new trends in philanthropy.

But such a rare reporter is Todd Cohen. As early as 1991, Cohen was writing weekly columns about nonprofit organizations for The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. Later he created the Philanthropy Journal of North Carolina as a publication of the News and Observer Foundation.

Nowadays, Cohen's work reaches far beyond issues of interest only to those in his home state and so has come to the Web. The Philanthropy Journal Online (PJO) is a daily electronic publication covering nonprofits on a national and international level, producing more than 140,000 pages of information monthly.

Thoroughly searchable, this is a valuable resource for anyone needing the background on charities and foundations. To use it, visit the site at http://www.pj. org, where the introductory page provides the latest news from nonprofits in business, education, and charities, as well as top stories in the fields of fund raising, corporate donations, technological innovations, law and taxes, and related topics.

For each story, the site provides a summary paragraph and a hyperlinked headline, which you can click to see the full text. Incorporated in most of the full-text articles are further links to related sites elsewhere on the Web. Also, most stories end with links to related articles and contact information.

As the introductory page illustrates with clickable buttons at the left, PJO is divided into nine departments. Click the links to reach any of these electronic section fronts, which are:

* Corporate Giving - with news on business foundations and grant programs, as well as trends in corporation donations.

* Foundations - covering who's giving money away and who's receiving it. The section has regular features on major foundation programs. …

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