The Secret to More Effective Philanthropy: Funding the Unknown

Thursday, March 28, 2013

An op-ed by Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President and CEO of the Rita Allen Foundation, in anticipation of the May 2013 Ashoka Future Forum in Washington, D.C.

What’s often forgotten in discussions of social investments, and measurements of their success, is that the first step in innovation is a step into the unknown. It requires curiosity and courage, leaps of faith for both the innovators and those who support them. When you trace the development of big new ideas, you often find that those first steps weren’t taken in isolation—they arose from the simple act of people talking and imagining potential solutions together...