Nonprofit Newswire | Social Innovation Fund Called “Diversion” by Eisenberg

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June 1, 2010; Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy | Pablo Eisenberg published an editorial in the Chronicle of Philanthropy yesterday that questioned the strategic wisdom of adding another $45 million in new philanthropic investments to the $50 million being managed by the Social Innovation Fund. NPQ has published an article on this development today. Eisenberg says that there are bigger fish to fry both by philanthropy and by the Obama administration. He suggests that the money, while heralded at finding the “hidden gems” among nonprofits, appears to be headed to the coffers of “fairly large, fairly safe nonprofit organizations that can generate good publicity.”

Further, he asserts that there are large areas of the country in which critical nonprofit work is underfinanced by grant makers, specifically, the south and southwest and that this might be a better focus of philanthropic attention. “Another $50-million of private money to support a government effort that is already limited in scope by its federal financing is neither smart nor strategic,” says Eisenberg, rather the President should use his bully pulpit to suggest or push to require that foundations spend out at 6 percent rather than 5 percent, a move Eisenberg says would add $10 billion to grant making in the country.—Ruth McCambridge