Saving Philanthropy


A documentary film called Saving Philanthropy is currently under production. The subtitle is “Moving from charity to social investing before it’s too late.”…“Saving Philanthropy is a documentary film exploring the issues confronting effective philanthropic giving, specifically those involving the funding of direct service organizations.

The film contends that direct service organizations must be funded based on their performance and that this performance must be clearly tracked and demonstrated.  “Performance Management” then, is the backbone of effective social investing (philanthropy).”

One of the tenets of the film is: ìs you can`t measure it, you shouldn`t do it.

One thought on “Saving Philanthropy

  1. I think the issue is more complex than what the buzz words of this film might indicate, and arguments about opportunity costs can end up in a infinite regression of attempts to determine what the appropriate measures are and who decides what is most valuable to fund. Donating to organizations that provide food and other material or services to people who don’t have enough are effective on their face. Spending money on evaluation itself has an opportunity cost–evaluation can be expensive and that money might better be spent on food and clothing for children, or health care provision, for example. One has to be careful in the debate not to fall into the trap of trying to determine the one best use of any given dollar, because that’s an impossible question to answer, involving as it does value judgments as well as the necessity of measuring things that can’t be measured.


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