Thursday, October 02, 2008

Clarification - Money Well Spent

Some of you have written in and asked me about the review I posted on Money Well Spent, the new guide to smart giving from Paul Brest and Hal Harvey. In particular, the questions deal with my suppositions about the role of strategic philanthropy in tough (may this not prove to be an understatement) economic times. Let me clarify as best I can:

  • Being strategic with one's philanthropy is a good thing. Research, goals, objectives, partnerships, measures, feedback loops - all important, all possible.
  • Philanthropy is by its nature, a matter of head and heart, so strategy will only go so far - the best strategy may not, necessarily, change one's areas of interest or regions of focus, for example (those are so often set by interest, passion, familiarity, connections, etc.)
  • When resources are limited, it is important to be strategic.
  • When resources are abundant, it is important to be strategic.
  • The current crisis in credit markets and its rippling effects to financial markets and the broader economy do not lessen the need to be strategic. However, they may dampen interest/ability in being philanthropic.
  • My point about the timing of the book's release had to do with whether interest in philanthropy would be diminished, not whether or not the book's messages would be less important.
Hope that helps.

And, yes, I appreciate the "irony" that I can amend my post because of this medium (blogging), an ability that published books don't have - the point I made at the start of my review.

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