Case | HBS Case Collection | May 2010 (Revised January 2012)

The Robin Hood Foundation

by Alnoor Ebrahim and Cathy Ross


Created by hedge fund and financial managers, the Robin Hood Foundation fights poverty through grants to nonprofit organizations. As the global financial crisis continues to impact the poor disproportionately, the Foundation needs to ensure that its funds are being spent on the most effective poverty-fighting programs. The organization's senior vice president, Michael Weinstein, has developed a benefit-cost (BC) approach to analyze the performance of program grants. How effective is the method? Is funding programs with the highest BC ratios a good way to fight poverty? In three or five years' time, how will Robin Hood know if it is succeeding?

Keywords: Nonprofit Organizations; Giving and Philanthropy; Poverty; Organizational Design; Performance Effectiveness; Financial Crisis; Programs; Measurement and Metrics;


Ebrahim, Alnoor, and Cathy Ross. "The Robin Hood Foundation." Harvard Business School Case 310-031, May 2010. (Revised January 2012.)