Who Are the Experts?

from Wise Philanthropy:

Philanthropedia – Some early observations and questions

Technology allows and public culture encourages individuals to give to projects based on their own interest and to respond to projects as identified through a growing number of direct giving sites. These models permit a funder or donor with limited means to nevertheless play a key role in supporting a specific project and have reasonable confidence that the money is going directly to that project – without undue bureaucracy or mediation. This also allows such donors to be proactive rather than reactive to solicitations, which we all know can become annoying. However, we also know that this open source funding model has a weakness: where is the assessment of the quality of the project or of the organization? It is not that individuals cannot do that homework but for a $250 donation, is it worth it? Moreover, how does one correct for the inevitable faddishness of certain ideas and programs, some of which may be paradigm changers, others simply have great pr?