If foundations like Hewlett really want to change America's political landscape, initiatives are less effective than action, says columnist.
"[M]ainstream philanthropy has a dangerous weakness: It places too much faith in reason and social science, with a theory of change that goes like this: Research the problem, identify solutions that work, and educate elites and the public until reform is achieved.
Once upon a time, in a more innocent and technocratic America, that model worked, and sometimes it still does. But from the 1970s onward, the game began changing, led by funders on the right like the Olin and Bradley foundations, and the three foundations controlled by Scaife. You can dismiss these funders as 'ideological,' but I would call them values-driven: Instead of focusing on advancing specific policy solutions, these funders have focused on advancing core beliefs about human nature and how society should best be organized." -- David Callahan, Inside Philanthropy