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Give Smart: Philanthropy That Gets Results    by Thomas J. Tierney & Joel L. Fleishman order for
Give Smart
by Thomas J. Tierney
Order:  USA  Can
PublicAffairs, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Last year Americans donated approximately $300 billion to various causes, charities and organizations. Even though you may not be one of the reputed 50 billionaires who have joined Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates to donate half their fortunes to philanthropic causes, what Thomas Tierney and Joel Fleishman have to say in Give Smart: Philanthropy That Gets Results will still be of interest.

As the authors explain, 'Great philanthropy is distinguished not by the sheer size of a gift or grant, but by what it accomplishes.' Thus, anyone who may at some point contemplate engaging in some form of philanthropy, regardless of the amount of money involved, will want to read this book.

'This is a book about people, money, and impact: generous people with money, the hard working people who need money, and the social impact that both groups hope to achieve,' write Tierney and Fleishman. 'In short, it is a book about turning philanthropic resources into real-world results.'

Philanthropy is personal and situational and there is no magic formula for making it work. That being said, though, there are six thought provoking questions that, if addressed with candor, can guide a person in achieving the best results and the most bang for his or her buck.

These questions are: 'What are my values and beliefs? What is 'success' and how can it be achieved? What am I accountable for? What will it take to get the job done? How do I work with grantees?' and 'Am I getting better?'

Using case studies and research, this book shows how to tackle these questions and thus create a pathway that will lead to a successful, gratifying and effective experience for donors and grant makers.

Both authors are very pragmatic in their approach; thus, donors and nonprofit leaders will find concrete ideas here on how to create meaningful and cost effective programs.

As you read this book you'll discover the importance of setting clear goals and specific aims for any donation. Being clear about what will constitute success will lead to informed decisions about how and where to allocate your resources most effectively.

Philanthropy does not simply equate to financial contributions either. Time and influence can trump money. How to allocate and deploy these resources is a critical decision when pursuing results.

Since the impact of your largesse largely depends on the performance of your grantees, it is important to remember that being involved in the process doesn't give you the right to micromanage. It is the grantees' responsibility for doing the work and delivering results.

This fascinating little book (just over 200 pages of text) will enlighten anyone involved with the process of giving. No matter if you are the donor, a foundation head or one seeking assistance, there's much to be learned here.

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