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The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving$
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Michael Weinstein and Ralph Bradburd

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231158367

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231158367.001.0001

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Completing the Analytical Traverse

Completing the Analytical Traverse

Small-Bore Benefit/Cost Analysis

(p.76) 8 Completing the Analytical Traverse
The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving

Michael M. Weinstein

Ralph M. Bradburd

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the use of benefit/cost ratios to rank the relative impacts of philanthropic interventions, known as small-bore benefit/cost analysis. The ratios capture the collective mission-related benefit that individual grants create per dollar cost to the funder. In the case of the Robin Hood Foundation, benefit/cost ratios capture the extent to which a particular grant raises the collective living standards of poor New Yorkers per dollar cost to the organization. Small-bore benefit/cost ratios allow for comparing philanthropic interventions of all forms and purposes. Small-bore benefit/cost analysis provides nonprofit organizations a tool by which to achieve consistently powerful outcomes, and it does so in a way that gives donors clear evidence (good or bad) about the impact of their money. It is no surprise, then, that Robin Hood's financially savvy donors embraced the rigor of Relentless Monetization (RM) early. RM calls on funders to estimate benefit/cost ratios for proposed or actual interventions or grants. RM is all about responsible funders balancing benefits and costs.

Keywords:   benefit/cost ratios, philanthropic interventions, small-bore benefit/cost analysis, grants, Robin Hood Foundation, donors, Relentless Monetization, funders, benefits, costs

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