Made to measure?
There are plenty of good reasons for wanting to quantify progress.
Whatever it is you are trying to talk up, being able to measure it against a recognised benchmark takes the stress out of making a point. Secondly, if you commit effort or resources to an activity, it is natural to want to know whether you are achieving your desired ends. "How am I doing?" was the signature greeting of 'hizzoner' Ed Koch, former mayor of New York (though I suspect he wasn't necessarily asking for a considered assessment.)
When it comes to the distribution of funds whose explicit purpose is to do good, the desire to measure performance is even more understandable. Nor do I take the position that qualitative assessments are all that count in philanthropy.
The need to demonstrate effectiveness and efficiency should not, however, take precedence over the imperative to judge each philanthropic effort on its own merits. There are few standard measures, whether in operational structure, distribution strategy or impact, that allow for accurate comparison among different initiatives. Efforts to develop these are certainly laudable and worthy of support, but, in most cases, as I used to tell my children in the car when they were much younger, we are not nearly there yet. Until more progress has been made, it is entirely reasonable to hold a philanthropic initiative to its own declared objectives, whether in terms of what it hopes to deliver or the way it organises itself to do so. "You said you were going to…" is a good place to start the interrogation.