Fay Twerksy, director of our Effective Philanthropy Group, reminds us that even strategic philanthropy is rooted in love in a response to Paul Brest’s “Strategic Philanthropy and Its Discontents” at Stanford Social Innovation Review:
But, philanthropy, let’s remember, from the Greek, is “love of humanity.” Love is central to philanthropy, by definition. It should be central. That doesn’t mean we should be intellectually lazy in our philanthropy. To the contrary, we should be sharp and smart and full of passion. Strategy and passion are not in opposition to one another. They challenge, reinforce, and strengthen one another. The best argument for strategic philanthropy is perhaps an emotional one—that if we are smarter about how we give, we can help create a world where our children will not be hungry, their reading and math scores will improve and so too their life chances; where the homeless will be stably housed, living with dignity and able to meet their basic human needs; where hate crimes are eliminated and we no longer hear of black men’s lives taken for no reason, or young gay teens committing suicide because of relentless bullying; where art and music is plentiful and enriching; and where, around the globe, rivers and streams are clean and our planet is an altogether healthier place.