Outsourcing: Finding Effective Organizations Early in the Philanthropy Journey—Craig Silverstein and Mary Obelnicki, Co-Founders of Echidna Giving
When we started in philanthropy, we started by giving to re-granting organizations. We were focused in the developing world but knew nothing about the local communities in which we really wanted to see change happen. We were outsiders; we weren’t able to evaluate proposals or evaluate outcomes, so we went to re-granting organizations that are based in the US or the UK or somewhere in the developed world, but they are the ones who evaluate grants and outcomes and have people on the ground in local communities in the developing world. Initially, we went into it thinking that it was a waste of money to involve a middleman.
But we found out that it’s actually a big money saver to involve these middlemen because if we had to go and evaluate these things ourselves and fly out to these communities it would take a long time to do and be very inefficient. It’s actually much better to be working with an organization that can afford to have someone living in these local communities; or ideally someone from that community.¹
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