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July 21, 2006


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You always miss the point, Albert. It has nothing to do with how much good Amma does. It's about efficiency. Assuming that a hug takes about 5 seconds on average, if she had shortened each hug by half a second, she could have saved enough time to hug another 2.7 million people.

Dee Hicks

The USA Today video shows her hugging two people at once. That's real efficiency. Unless the healing effect of the hug per person is cut in half, in which case it's a wash.


Has anyone shown whether shorter hugs raise as much money on average as the standard hugs? The real bottleneck here, though, is management training and succession planning. She is running a one person hugging operation. How do we grow this thing to scale with some kind of double bottom line?

Albert Ruesga

Yes, e, it's been pointed out before that I ask all the wrong questions.

I don't mind importing concepts and processes from the business world. They have their place. But just as in the business world, their application in the nonprofit sector sometimes involves hair-raising leaps in logic.

The "scale" thing is especially tiresome, phil, as is its cousin "replicability." The Venture Philanthropy movement seems to have done a lot of good for some (many?) organizations. But I also wonder how much harm it's done by encouraging donors to develop unreasonable expectations of the charities they support.

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