The San Francisco Chronicle has its Season of Sharing. The New York Times has its Neediest Cases Fund. These annual fundraising events, led by newspapers and with administrative costs paid for by foundations or the papers themselves raise millions of dollars for local charities. The Chronicle's Season of Sharing has raised more than $50 million in 20 years. The Times claims it has raised and distributed $222 million since it started the fund in 1912.
Anyone know where I can find a cumulative total of funds raised by newspapers across the nation?
So what for philanthropy? I predict it will be a long time before we see blogs, national websites, or even place-based online news sites raising those kinds of dollars for local causes. Just as the consolidation of banks in the U.S. has left big holes in the corporate philanthropy ranks of several major cities, so will the continued consolidation/closure of newspapers.