Maybe it’s time to sweat the small stuff?

For those of us in philanthropy it is hard to keep up with the amount of private giving pouring into education – particularly in support of K-12 education. Where does the money go? At the same time school systems are announcing philanthropic and corporate gifts in the 10′s and 100′s of millions of dollars, communities are being asked to participate in ‘stuff the bus’ and other gimmicky appeals to stock classrooms with basic supplies. As adminstrators chase the big bucks classroom teachers are chasing crayons and craft paper. It just doesnt make sense.
Similarly – visit any academic medical center. The campuses are starting to rival Dubai. There is so much glass and steel, fountains and gardens, coffee shops and dining establishments. And yet – funders who support biomedical research via grants receive budgets requesting salaries for everyone involved, never mind the expressed need for funds to purchase computers, basic supplies, and rat chow.
What is going on? I, for one, would like some honest discussion about it all.