Giving into naming and shaming

image2The media seeks sensation. Insights only count when they are exciting. This means we have to be alert during interviews!

Despite the focus of Effective Giving on large philanthropists, 200,000 plus a year, we believe giving effectively is for everyone. We have seen many giving and impact investing portfolios, and we have to yet meet the first case where there is no room for optimizing effectiveness.

Even philanthropists or foundations that operate in very cost effective cause areas often can increase their impact many times when basing their decisions on more rigorous evidence or choosing different approaches. The biggest revisions can often be achieved by prioritizing certain cause areas (and, therefore, by ignoring other cause areas).

On reflection, however, it is not very tactful to illustrate that point with a specific case of a philanthropic foundation in the media. Certainly not if it concerns a player who actually has a lot of potential to contribute and learn from the Effective Giving community. This also goes against another principle of Effective Giving – Being positive!

It has been an important lesson for Effective Giving to not let ourselves be tempted to name and shame.