Today’s New York Times (Feb 18 2014) reports on a billionaire investor who’s putting $100 million of his money into lobbying for climate change. Leaving aside whether this is c3 or c4 money my attention was caught by the apt phrase “donor-doer”. In this case he means building and running his own political organization like Koch, Bloomberg, Soros, etc. What about the charity donor-doer? You for example.
FFM/C will help any family become a donor-doer by working with you to set a strategy for involvement, pick one or more charities that exemplify your ideals and set expectations and assess results.
Few of us are in a position to start our own nine-digit left-of-the-decimal fund – for whatever purpose. But any new or emerging family foundation is potentially able to put its grant dollars to full effect. The problem is locating, evaluating and becoming involved with the right set of charities. At the same time – from the charities’ perspective – there is no little trepidation in dealing with well meaning donors who intentionally or not may disrupt mission, vision or programs – the backbone of charitable enterprise.
“Disruption” is a buzz word in new wave technology. Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, Google et. al. are disrupters who in part have built their enterprises on over-turning the wagons. Some donors want to try that on what they see as the hide-bound traditional charities. It almost never works. So they start their own usually to limited effect because they’re really not scalable (another buzz word).