Philanthropy Action

News & Commentary


Last week, the Aid Watchers blog named its winners of the best and worst in aid for the last year. We’re proud to be named among the winners of the Best in Aid prize—all of whom are groups aiming to help people give better—including the blog Good Intentions are Not Enough by Saundra Schimmelpfennig, Alanna Shaikh, GiveWell, Philanthropedia and Great Nonprofits. Philanthropy Action was specifically honored for our work to finally kill the myth that overhead costs are a good way to evaluate charities (see The Worst (and Best) Way to Pick a Charity This Year).

The “winner” of the Worst in Aid is the concept, championed this year by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, of combining development aid, diplomacy and defense into a single approach. Aid (and philanthropy), even when not explicitly tied to other aims, too often is driven by ulterior motives and other agendas. So on the one hand you might argue that the idea of acknowledging these other agendas is a victory for transparency. On the other hand, when the acknowledgment of the other agendas is not to condemn them but to praise them as complementary, I think you have to agree with Aid Watchers that the “3D” approach, as it is known, is a very bad idea.


Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Comments may be edited for length. Inappropriate comments will not be published.