Escape plan: Foundations "live in a house of mirrors," says William Schambra, but seldom hold the mirror up to see their own reflection.
"[T]he problem with foundations is that they are almost infinitely capable of self-deception. They live in a house of mirrors. There’s almost no way for the reality out there to break in—to interrupt philanthropy’s self-absorbed interior monologue. Foundations are, of course, completely insulated from the unpleasant impingements that reality forces upon all other institutions. After all, foundations don’t need to raise money, sell a product, or win an election. When they nonetheless strive to understand the real world—which they often do, because they have every intention of making it over in their own likeness—they resort to crude empirical instruments that warp and distort more than they measure." -- William Schambra, Nonprofit Quarterly