FYI: Philanthropy in the
$4.5 million gift to the Robin Hood Foundation, a charity created
by Wall Street investor Paul Tudor Jones to help the poor of New
York City, is indicative of a trend toward results-oriented philanthropy,
say many in the nonprofit field.
Robin Hood's staff of MBAs and accountants seek to measure philanthropic outcomes much the same way they might measure profits. If the foundation gives money to a school, for example, it tries to calculate how many kids are performing better as a result of the donation. Programs that don't perform well are dropped.
"We perform due diligence on our projects that you can compare with that of the best investment houses," says the foundation's executive director, David Saltzman. "We have a venture capital attitude toward charity."
And it's working, at least in the sense that Robin Hood-style charities are attracting donors. Since its founding 10 years ago, Robin Hood itself has pulled in more money each year than in the previous year.
"For the past five years this has been happening all across the country," says Emmett Carson, head of the Minneapolis Foundation. "Donors are demanding to see hard results."
Lewis, Michael. "Heartless Donors: George Soros and Other Big Givers Have Ushered in the 'Tough Love' Era of Charity." "The Capitalist." New York Times Magazine 12/14/97, p. 46-47.
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