The GiveWell Blog

How to get your values violated

Look, another story where a foundation is accused of violating its original funders’ values.

It’s ridiculous to accuse the foundation. The funders violated their own values, the second they handed over their money to an organization set up to exist forever. They may as well have thrown it into a lake.

This is just common sense. The world changes too fast, and people are too different from each other, to think that the 3rd generation of your foundation’s staff will have any more in common with you than your dentist.

At least you know they’ll be trying to improve the world in some way, right? No. Foundations so often focus on political advocacy, awareness, and other zero-sum “giving” that you actually have no way of knowing whether they’ll be working for what you believe in – or directly against it.

There’s one way to control what your money pays for. Give it away yourself.