- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In her Aug. 24 Op-Ed column, “Hidden slush fund,” Michelle Malkin takes a predictably partisan view of an innovative new public policy idea that has attracted support from Democrats, Republicans and leading CEOs who eschew politics to solve problems. This idea, a Social Investment Fund Network, was attacked simply because it was included in the Democratic platform, overlooking the fact that it also has been embraced by prominent Republicans and CEOs precisely because it is the antithesis of the “political payback” pattern of government funding Mrs. Malkin describes.

Developed by a new generation of “social entrepreneurs” who use a business approach to solve chronic social challenges, this proposal rejects the old model of distributing government money to organizations with the biggest political muscle. Instead, this fund network directs funding to the organizations that can prove they actually work. It demands a higher level of accountability than traditional government programs, requiring fund recipients to have a proven track record, articulate measurable outcomes, raise matching funds, ensure sustainability beyond the grant money and engage independent evaluators to measure their impact. Contrary to Mrs. Malkin’s concerns that the funding would go to “activist” groups, this model prevents the funding from going to partisan or activist organizations and instead directs it toward the highest-performing direct-service organizations.

It’s time we put knee-jerk partisanship aside in favor of new solutions that are based on results, like the Social Investment Fund Network.

KIM SYMAN

Managing partner

New Profit Inc.

Boston

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