Are foundations becoming obsolete?

Slate magazine had an interesting article about Joel L. Fleishman’s new book The Foundation: A Great American Secret. Fleishman contends that “the arrogance of the foundation world has led it to miss good ideas developed by others. Its insulation has allowed it to proceed without being challenged by external forces, and without understanding much about the success or failure of its programs. Its invisibility has left it isolated, risk averse, and without much public support.”

I doubt that our current reality of what a foundation is will disappear in our lifetimes but we can see that Philanthropy 2.0 is already happening today. The next iteration of philanthropy will be more results based and will include more private/public partnerships to move social agendas forward. The product (red) campaign is an example of this (albeit an unsuccessful example). I think we are coming to a point in the foundation sector that we realize that foundation funding is only a drop in the bucket. We just need to be more strategic about where we put that drop.