A steady hand
We often celebrate the agility, alacrity and adaptability of private philanthropy — faster than government, free of shareholder interests and flexible in deploying resources for the public good. In times of upheaval, as in a financial crisis or policy perturbations, philanthropy can be both quickly responsive and a steadying force to keep individuals, organizations and communities on track to reach important social goals.
In the places we work, from the U.S. and Canada to Colombia and Brazil, rapid social, economic and political changes are in play. When social conditions shift or governments alter course, the philanthropic sector has a unique opportunity to reinforce positive changes that are consistent with important social goals and to help stabilize social systems and institutions against influences that detract from reaching desirable goals.
The same freedom that gives the philanthropic sector a capacity to adapt to changing conditions also enables a constancy of purpose. The great goals philanthropy typically strives to achieve cannot be reached overnight, nor is it only a single factor that typically stands in the way. Philanthropy can commit for the long-haul to achieve progress in society, and this steadfastness of purpose is especially valuable in times of turmoil.
Gordon and Betty Moore established their eponymous foundation with the hope that we would win significant and durable improvements, rather than merely lose more slowly over time. Their willingness to take risks and invest over the long-term continues to inspire us to create new and better ways to achieve lasting change for the good.
This 2016 annual report highlights some of the ways we are taking advantage of the flexibility of philanthropy to accelerate progress and showcases the benefits of long-term commitments to our core aims.Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D.President