Philanthropy can be a funny business. Let’s say you’re a do-gooder in Malawi, and you hear about a little girl who has been attacked by a crocodile. She is badly hurt, but her family has no money for medical care at a private clinic.
What do you do?
The traditional philanthropic approach would be, approximately, to build a hospital, staff it with the best doctors and nurses you can hire and endow it generously, so that little girls who have been chewed up by crocodiles and whose family has no money for medical care have a place to get help. Philanthropists love infrastructure, partly as the result of the natural human desire to see concrete results (maybe a big building with one’s family name over the door), partly because organizational leaders almost inevitably think in organizational terms and partly out of lack of imagination.