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The Whole Sorry Business of Philanthropic Consulting

Lucy Bernholz on the business of philanthropic advice. And another post about it here on Social Edge. My daughter recently got married, and I took a dancing lesson so I could acquit myself acceptably in the father daughter dance. We all need some consulting help from time to time. Philanthropy like poetry is one of the things we do for love, but among aspiring Nobel Laureates, classes in poetry are always popular. Poetry that gets results - I wonder if I could teach that to business writers, advertisers, and politcal propagandists? Philanthropy too must earn its keep. No sense making a moral gesture when you can have an entire business plan. When we talk about "transformational philanthropy" we mean transforming a joyous amateur into an earnest, dull, high paying client. It is a racket like any other. We are all busy "getting results" in all three sectors and the whole world is falling apart.  Had the indigenous peoples, devoid of business sense, defeated the European invaders, the results for the planet would have been outstanding. Have you noticed that the well trained business mind is utterly incapable of critical self reflection? Is it because of the types the business schools attract, or is thoughtlesslness and deference to routine, drilled into them, as into soldiers and sailors in Officer Training School? Rousseau's Confessions, Diderot's Rameau's Nephew, Goya's The Sleep of Reason. What would happen if philanthropic consultants discussed those, rather than metrics? A major step backward for the liberal arts, mostly.