This from Fred Smith (who posts a lot of interesting articles on Facebook). It raises some excellent questions about the role of foundations relative to those we desire to help. Obviously there is bound to be some question about the quality of the work done by the Gates Foundation. Just as there is criticism of Bono’s work. Regardless of scale all philanthropists need to consider how we use our leverage of research and resources wisely. In one of my former roles, as a youth pastor, I used to tell the parents of the teens I worked with that I expected them to know their own child better than I did (which was true more often than not); but I was generally more knowledgeable about teens in general than most parents were (also usually the case). The same may be true in this world. Over time I expect to become quite informed about the issues of nonprofits, relief and development, and particularly the role of leaders and leadership in those organizations. But I will never be more aware of the specifics of any of our resources or partners than they are. I need to bear that in mind.