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By a simple twist of fate, Jacob Leif found himself in post-apartheid South Africa, staring at a big paradoxical break in philanthropy - success was measured in numbers instead of long-term impact. While working at a local school, he found time, money, and aid were plentiful, along with supplies of books, computers, and daily lunches for the school children. However, once the nonprofit organization supporting the school left after the funding cycle finished, the school returned right back to where it started. Lief decided to found Ubuntu Education Fund, an organization that supports children in Port Elizabeth, South Africa through an integrated system of medical, health, educational and social services. In this episode of The Social Disruptors, Ned Breslin and Jacob Lief discuss the struggles of funding for long-term sustainable impact within the current philanthropic system of 12-month grant cycles and the power of saying “no” when funding requirements do not meet the outcomes.
In 2002 the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation made two long-term mega-grants—one to CalTech for $300 million and the other to Conservation International for $395 million.