Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Giving Away Money is a Complicated Business

Giving away money is a complicated business, as I appreciate more and more all the time. I have met so many decent, optimistic, generous people who want to make a difference, but they become disillusioned with the difficulty of finding the right fit for their philanthropic interests. Almost by definition, the causes that need the support the most often do not have the infrastructure, management talent, or strategic plan needed to deploy large amounts of capital efficiently. It's tempting to pick projects that are straightforward and "doable." There is nothing diabolical about that. The problem is that those kinds of projects are one-offs. The gains may not be sustainable, and the impact tends to be local or limited. Meanwhile, there are other global organizations that do good work, but they have grown to a size that limits their ability to innovate, and administrative costs and approaches seem to produce produce fewer and fewer returns.
- Forty Chances - Finding Hope in a Hungry World by Howard G. Buffett

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