Schambra says that much of “community buy-in” is, for philanthropists, a mirage, or just another technical problem to be solved by community-relations experts skilled in the subtle sciences of manipulation and consensus-creation.
Outcomes-based metrics may be more accurate and more effective, but they do not speak to the heart the way that program-focused endeavors do.
Here is a speech on the shortcomings of strategic philanthropy given last Wednesday by Bill Schambra to the Hewlett Foundation. Please watch NPQ for a response next week from Paul Brest, the former president of the foundation and current professor at Stanford Law. In the meantime, we welcome your own commentary.
It is rare to have such straightforward criticism invited and given to a large foundation. We congratulate all involved.
In the face of the departure of the Ford Foundation’s Luis Ubiñas, William A. Schambra’s on the hunt for some truth to counteract the nonprofit world’s culture of polite silence.
Before we permit the empire of metrics to colonize yet another region of civil society, it’s important for us to understand why that region has remained an untamed frontier.