Saturday, 22 March 2008
Just wanted to quickly highlight this report from Keystone on online philanthropy markets. The author, David Bonbright, quickly gets to the nub of the argument: the markets are only going to drive change when there is robust and comparable evaluation of project outcomes.
But I'm afraid the idea that these markets will collaborate to produce common evaluation standards is rather fanciful. It seems more likely that one of the more enterprising websites will develop its own evaluative approach and then capture market share. Whatever, happens, let's hope it happens soon.
In response to the report, Perla Ni of GreatNonProfits.org wrote a shameful piece in the Financial Times, arguing against the use of measures of charitable effectiveness. Amazingly, her argument seems to rest on the idea that "presenting potential donors with metrics suppresses donations", as if that were therefore a reason to resist them. Did you ever think such self-serving collusion could be possible?