This week two different stories looked at the ideas at the center of The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving , by Michael Weinstein and Ralph M. Bradburd.
In his post, Adventures with quantitative philanthropy, Felix Salmon, examines the Robin Hood Foundation approach to giving and its “relentless monetization” framework. Salmon explains how the Robin Hood Foundation seeks to monetize the benefits of philanthropic giving to make sure it is effective and helps those it is intended to help.
An article for the Fast Company blog, Co.EXIST, also explores the Robin Hood method. The book’s coauthor, Michael Weinstein explains how the Robin Hood foundation developed its approach and the various factors it considers when trying to establish a cost-benefit analysis for giving money.
Increasingly, as the article points out, the Robin Hood Foundation method is being adopted by other philanthropic organizations, such as The Gates Foundation, and it is winning many adherents among donors in the financial industry.
The article concludes with Weinstein’s reflections on the aims of The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving:
Weinstein hopes that the book pushes even more people to consider Robin Hood’s techniques. “We wrote the book for two reasons. One reason is that donors, other foundations, and philanthropists are often asking us to advise them, to share what we’re doing,” he says. “The second reason is the opposite. We hope that by laying it out in black and white, we get feedback that tells us how to do things better. We already know our 170 equations [for monetization] are wrong. We’d love for people to say we have another wrong way to monetize interventions, but we have a less wrong way to do it.”