What must we do today and what are we obliged to consider for the future?

In the present, we can begin by considering the capital that is at the disposal of foundations.

Foundations are not just granting instruments. They are deployers of social capital, which can take the form of money but also can be represented through knowledge, brains, and networks.

How best to deploy that capital for today’s emergency? Give5 is promoting the opportunity to make more money available by spending down more assets. It’s focusing on one part of the capital, money (arguably the most visible part), and one aspect, quantity. The target of 5 percent focuses our attention on an easily measurable standard. It’s a demanding commitment especially as assets diminish in value. Yet it is powerful as a quantifiable token of willingness to step up.

But what about quality? In other words, how effectively to spend that extra money? There are three important questions that foundations could ask themselves to ensure that quality matches quantity as they ramp up spending.

Targeting, timing, and type.

Read the full article about spending now or later by Hilary Pearson at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.