(Courtesy of Stephen Yeo) Dan Pallotta’s blog, You Say You Want Impact in Harvard Business Review, provides strong arguments for the funding of the capacity of think tanks to leverage new funds -which is not to say that they should be given money to staff their fundraising team; I am of the opinion that international development funders should support the formation of domestic research foundations.
What is certainly interesting is Dan’s point that:
the way to maximize impact is not to fund a program that is having a great impact. The way to maximize impact is to fund a revenue engine that can multiply the dollars you are contributing — it is to fund the fundraising and development arm of the charity in question, not the actual program that’s making a difference. In making fundraising more robust, you create a multiplier effect: Your donation has the potential to dramatically increase the amount of money flowing in to fund the program. If you fund the program itself, your donation will have zero multiplier effect.
He asks ‘what will it take for institutional funders and philanthropists to get this?’ Paying more attention to what is really going on in the organisations that they fund and less to the visibility of their brand, would be one thing.