I now have an example, from the Wall Street Journal, of a man who is doing precisely what I think is useful with foundation grants.
The man is Mohammed Ibrahim. He made his billions by building the wireless telephone networks in Africa and selling his phone company to Kuwaitis.
Ibrahim created an Institute to evaluate and rank all African countries by level of democracy and corruption suppression.
Every year, or whenever possible, if an African leader of a democratic country completes his elected term and successfully passes on leadership to a newly elected leader he receives $5 million over 10 years and $200,000 a year for life. The leader must have improved his country’s Democratic financial and anti-corruption practices as measured by the Ibrahim Institute.
To me this is an example of imaginative and probably effective foundation giving.