I just got a call from Geoff Woolley, the person named to lead “Unitus 2.0” as they redirect their efforts away from microfinance and towards a new area of “maximum social impact”. Given certain legal issues around the SKS IPO, Geoff is unable to immediately take me up on my offer to have him guest post here on Tactical Philanthropy (an invitation I sent the day I first wrote about the story). However, Geoff very much wants to tell his side of the story (he’s been involved with Unitus since the very beginning) and is talking with his team about when he can send me his guest post.
I’ve talked to a lot of people about the Unitus situation. Everyone that I’ve talked to thinks the world of the Unitus team, including the founding board members. I continue to withhold any judgment because so much of this story is murky. I did reiterate to Geoff my opinion that Unitus blew an opportunity to really claim victory for completing their mission of “accelerating microfinance” and instead left many people with questions about Unitus and the field of microfinance which they are leaving behind.
As much as I urge philanthropy to work to move faster, I also greatly appreciate that unlike areas like finance and politics, philanthropy is able to avoid the 24-hour news cycle and let stories play out in full before passing judgment. I look forward to hearing more about this story and most importantly trying to figure out what we can learn from it.