I'm a hypocrite

I finished an article on rational funding earlier today had a great conversation with a new non-profit about the importance of funders not responding to needs or filling gaps but looking for opportunities and met with a group of donors to talk about how valuable it is to think about philanthropy in terms of investments that have clear goals reporting and measurements along the way.
I read a number of articles on venture philanthropy and how to design metrics for results-oriented philanthropy.  It was a great start for the day.  The phone rang and on the other end was a friend on the board of a day care that has lived pretty much on the edge of survival for as long as I can remember. They have been kept going by a group of caring men and women who have propped it up and carried it for 30 years.  They always seem to get through the year in the black because someone steps in at the last minute.  I’ve looked at all their financials and their controls and accounting are fine.
Raising money for minority kids is just a hard assignment.  “The air conditioner for the infant room has broken down and it’s 104 degrees here.  It’s going to cost us $5 000 to replace the unit.  Can you help?”  Something came over me.  I told her I would call her back.  I sat there and thought about my long held belief in not funding needs but only opportunities.  I thought about the prospect of creating dependency or the expectation that I would step in again and again and quickly do more harm than good.  Then I thought about those children in the heat and called her back.  “Carol and I will pick up $1 000 of the cost and are glad to do it.”  Maybe turning 65 turns your brain to mush?  I don’t know.  Sure I’ll probably follow up with a conversation with them about the importance of a contingency fund but for the moment I’m thinking about those children being cool.
Yep I’m a hypocrite

1 Comment

  1. Frednot so sure about your mushy brain; howeverI know you have a soft heart for children. Thomas Merton said “We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of ourselves.” Your choice demonstrates the Fred I know.


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