Bill Schambra's takedown of so-called strategic philanthropy is delicious, and completely accurate. While it's a great idea to search for root causes of social problems, many of them don't have a single cause. Or if they do, it's a cause not curable by philanthropy, e.g. poverty.
The essence of his argument: Having a lot of money--which is, after all, the distinguishing feature of philanthropies--doesn't make you wiser than the people you're supposed to be helping. It just makes you richer. So you're no more likely to find the root cause of the problem than they are--probably less likely, in fact.
Whenever the Nonprofiteer hears of a philanthropy's search for "root causes," she is reminded of a saying by her elder and wiser brother: "You don't have to determine the root cause of darkness to alleviate it by turning on the light."
Amen, brother. And @BillSchambra, remind the Nonprofiteer to tell you how much she loves you.