Target Return for Philanthropy

Target return is often misunderstood in the context of philanthropic giving. Returns may include additional numbers of children in school due to the program, number of schoolbooks distributed, number of mosquito nets distributed, number of patients treated in a hospital funded through a philanthropic program (not the construction of the hospital itself). 

EWM has issues with much of development aid. Much aid goes to countries that;

  • Don’t need it
  • Misuse it
  • Steal it

In addition, many people working in international organisations are more interested in their own personal advancement than the advancement of the people in the countries they are ostensibly trying to help (for a scholarly treatment, see “The Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business”, 1994, Graham Hancock, Atlantic Monthly Press). 

Further, donating money to a developing country with a large military raises the question; 

  • For every dollar I donate;
    • Is this is a dollar that the government of this country can redirect to the military?
      (it no longer needs to fund this development itself)
    • With my donation, am I indirectly funding injustice and oppression?

We can help sort through the various factors and issues around philanthropic giving and try to work out where you can make a difference.