Charity portal launched

By Todd Cohen

The National Philanthropic Trust in Jenkintown, Pa., has launched Harvest Today, a Web portal for news about philanthropy and nonprofits.

The site uses automated search technology to “harvest” news and nonprofit Web sites for stories, news releases, reports and research – including PDF files – and then feed them into “channels” organized by topics.

Topics of the site’s initial channels range from domestic and international philanthropy news to content about estate planning, fundraising, managing nonprofits and volunteerism – and subscribers can create their own topics and channels, says Andrew Hastings, vice president of the National Philanthropic Trust.

Harvest Today, developed by Topular in Harleysville, Pa., aims to be a “wholesale” distributor of online content to groups that want nonprofit and philanthropic news and information on their own Web sites, Hastings says.

Subscribers can place a Harvest Today channel on their own Web sites for at least $1,500 a year, he said, with customized channels costing about $7,500 a year – plus a one-time set fee of $2,500.

Harvest Today hopes to reduce those costs by soliciting sponsorships of channels and topics, as well as donations.

The portal also plans to launch an email feature within six months that will allow its subscribers to deliver customized email to their own constituents.

Harvest Today, which searches more than 200 news and nonprofit sites and offers free news on its own site, plans to continue to build the number of sites it searches and the number of channels and topics it uses to organize its content.

“The goal is to keep the inventory at Harvest Today growing,” says Andrea Michalek, Topular’s president and founder.

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