The Robin Hood Foundation, which has targeted poverty in New York City since 1988, offers a telling example. The group evaluates the return on investments it makes in various programs around the city. It doesn’t make funding decisions based solely on metrics, however. It also relies on the experience of managers in the field and makes qualitative judgments based on comparing benefits with costs.
Robin Hood deals only with an impoverished population, but its principle of being businesslike has served both its clients and its investor donors quite well.