In Paul Brest’s latest post he writes about how foundations should respond to the financial crisis. One of his three points is:
We need to ensure that the best organizations — those that are delivering real outcomes — weather the storm. We’re not going to be able to salvage them from the bottom of the sea after the storm is over. On the other hand, we shouldn’t use precious assets to keep poorly managed organizations afloat either.
To me, this is the logic that should guide all charitable giving, all the time. It gets to the core of what great grantmaking is about. Invest in the best and realize that giving to poorly managed organizations (that you don’t believe can turn things around) helps the nonprofit but hurts the cause.