Importing do-gooders: Smart move, or danger to local orgs?

    Importing successful nonprofits from other cities could help fix some of Philadelphia’s most intractable problems. But does it make more sense to support local organizations? Tell us what you think.

    Here’s the idea: Importing successful nonprofits from other cities could help fix some of Philadelphia’s most intractable problems.

    As we reported Monday morning, that’s the operating principle behind the GreenLight Fund, which is basically a venture capital firm for the do-good set.

    Seems like a good idea, right? Well, consider the flip side. Ashley Tobin, who runs a consultancy for nonprofits, emailed us with this:

    “I am excited about the prospect of bringing innovation to Philadelphia, especially to solve some of the persistent issues facing children and families in our area. I am, however, concerned about the addition of new agencies that will be competing for funding with existing Philadelphia nonprofits that are doing good work and that already know the area and what our children and families are up against. Who says those existing agencies don’t just need more resources to have better outcomes?”

    So what’s your take? Is outside innovation a force for good? Or is there more value in extending a hand to local organizations?

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