An interesting editorial in The Canadian Medical Association Journal earlier this summer: A country of perpetual pilot projects . Though they are writing with an eye on health funding, I think that their views could be applied to many areas of research and to the non-profit world.
Whether it be government, quasi-government or foundation funding, the trend has accelerated toward short term, limited dollar funding. Pilot projects are not necessarily bad things but, as the editorial points out, "we seldom move proven projects into stable, funded programs". As programs die off, their results often die with them as there is little time to share outcomes between organizations or jurisdictions. We lose what the program was set up to do. It's a "waste of time, talent and energy."