Philanthropy Reads:

We have compiled a list of books that explore the world of philanthropy and offer insights into how it can be used to create positive change. From understanding philanthropy to exploring different approaches to giving, these books provide a comprehensive look at this impactful sector. 

“Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results” by Joel Fleishman and Thomas Tierney is a practical guide for philanthropists who want to make a meaningful impact with their donations. The authors argue that effective philanthropy requires more than just good intentions and generosity; it also requires strategic thinking and careful planning. The book provides a framework for giving that focuses on five key principles: defining goals and strategies, creating measurable outcomes, leveraging resources, learning from experience, and forging partnerships.

Through a series of case studies and real-world examples, Fleishman and Tierney demonstrate how these principles can be applied to a variety of philanthropic efforts, from improving education and healthcare to addressing environmental challenges and social inequality. They also offer practical advice on selecting causes and organizations to support, measuring impact, and collaborating with other donors and stakeholders.

Overall, “Give Smart” is a valuable resource for anyone interested in maximizing the impact of their charitable giving. It provides a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to philanthropy that emphasizes the importance of strategic thinking, data-driven decision-making, and collaboration in achieving meaningful and sustainable results.

“Richer Lives: Why Rich People Give” by Beth Breeze and Theresa Lloyd explores the motivations and strategies behind philanthropic giving by wealthy individuals. The book draws on extensive research and interviews with donors, advisors, and charitable organizations to offer insights into the ways in which wealthy people engage with philanthropy and the impact it has on their lives.

The authors argue that philanthropy is not just about making a difference in the world, but also about fulfilling personal values and goals. They examine the various factors that influence wealthy people’s decisions to give, including family traditions, personal experiences, and social expectations, and explore the ways in which philanthropy can enhance donors’ sense of purpose and well-being.

In addition to exploring the motivations and experiences of donors, the book also examines the impact of philanthropy on society as a whole. It explores the challenges and opportunities of high-impact philanthropy, and offers insights into the ways in which wealthy donors can work effectively with charitable organizations to achieve shared goals.

Overall, “Richer Lives” provides a nuanced and insightful exploration of the motivations and impact of philanthropy by wealthy individuals. It offers valuable insights for donors, advisors, and charitable organizations seeking to enhance the impact and effectiveness of their giving.

“It Ain’t What You Give, It’s The Way That You Give It” by Caroline Fiennes is a practical guide for donors seeking to make the most impact with their charitable giving. The book draws on the author’s experience working in the philanthropic sector and offers insights into the most effective ways to give.

Fiennes argues that effective giving requires more than just generosity and good intentions; it also requires careful planning and strategic thinking. She provides a framework for giving that focuses on three key principles: choosing the right causes to support, selecting the most effective organizations to donate to, and ensuring that donations are used in the most impactful way possible.

Throughout the book, Fiennes emphasizes the importance of data-driven decision-making and evaluation in effective giving. She provides practical advice on how to assess the impact of donations, and offers tips for measuring the effectiveness of charitable organizations.

In addition to providing practical advice for donors, “It Ain’t What You Give, It’s The Way That You Give It” also examines the broader social and economic impact of philanthropy. Fiennes explores the ways in which philanthropy can be used to address social and economic challenges, and highlights the potential benefits of collaboration and partnership between donors and charitable organizations.

Overall, the book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in maximizing the impact of their charitable giving. It provides a thoughtful and practical approach to philanthropy that emphasizes the importance of careful planning, data-driven decision-making, and collaboration in achieving meaningful and sustainable results.

“Modern Grantmaking” by Gemma Bull and Tom Steinberg is a guidebook for philanthropic organizations seeking to make their grantmaking processes more effective and efficient. The book draws on the authors’ experience working in the philanthropic sector and offers practical advice and insights for organizations seeking to modernize their approach to grantmaking.

The book covers a range of topics, including developing effective grantmaking strategies, building strong relationships with grantees, and measuring the impact of grants. It also explores the use of technology and data in grantmaking, and offers practical guidance on using digital tools and platforms to streamline and enhance grantmaking processes.

Throughout the book, the authors emphasize the importance of listening to grantees and understanding their needs, as well as the need for philanthropic organizations to be transparent and accountable in their grantmaking processes. They also highlight the potential benefits of collaborating with other funders and partners to achieve shared goals.

Overall, “Modern Grantmaking” is a valuable resource for philanthropic organizations seeking to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in grantmaking. The book offers practical advice and insights, as well as real-world examples and case studies, to help organizations enhance the impact and effectiveness of their grantmaking efforts.

“The Foundation: A Great American Secret; How Private Wealth is Changing the World” by Joel L. Fleishman is a comprehensive exploration of the history and impact of philanthropic foundations in the United States. The book draws on the author’s extensive experience working in the philanthropic sector and offers insights into the ways in which private wealth is being used to shape social and economic outcomes.

Fleishman examines the origins of modern philanthropy in the United States, tracing the evolution of foundations from the early days of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller to the present day. He explores the ways in which foundations have influenced social policy and public institutions, and offers a nuanced assessment of the impact of philanthropy on American democracy.

The book also provides a detailed look at the inner workings of philanthropic foundations, including their governance structures, decision-making processes, and grantmaking strategies. Fleishman examines the challenges and opportunities of high-impact philanthropy, and offers practical advice for foundations seeking to enhance the effectiveness and transparency of their giving.

Throughout the book, Fleishman emphasizes the importance of accountability and transparency in philanthropy. He highlights the potential benefits of collaboration and partnership between foundations and other stakeholders, and argues that philanthropy can play an important role in addressing social and economic challenges.

Overall, “The Foundation” is a thoughtful and insightful exploration of the role of philanthropy in American society. It offers valuable insights for donors, policymakers, and anyone interested in understanding the ways in which private wealth is being used to shape the world around us.

Philanthropy advising is an emerging and important profession fuelled by demand from donors for support with their charitable giving. Advising Philanthropists explores what the role of the philanthropy advisor entails, the practicalities involved and the wide range of skills and knowledge needed to start and excel at working with donors.

As well as explaining the key concepts, this accessible overview considers the challenges that can be encountered in the role and the ethical dilemmas to be navigated. It is illuminated by interviews with 40 philanthropy advisors from around the globe offering unique and authentic accounts of this unsung profession. This book is a timely addition to the growing body of literature on philanthropy.

 

Do you wish you could do more to change the world but don’t know how? Do you ever look around at the many charities asking for donations and feel overwhelmed? This inspiring and uplifting book explores the effectiveness of charity and calls for more radical giving if we want to contribute to a better world.

During a period when British society seems more divided than ever, and our decision makers are even more disconnected from the issues that keep us awake at night, Giving Back highlights the people and movements taking on some of the most challenging social issues of our time.

A respected figure in philanthropy, Derek A. Bardowell presents a unique insight into what’s going on inside the world of giving and where we can best make a difference.

From redefining the role of charity itself to reimagining philanthropy through a reparative lens, Bardowell introduces a radical new take on how social problems, from climate change to racial injustice, can be tackled in modern society by all of us.

Filled with lively insights and moving stories, Giving Back is here to break down the walls of charitable giving. If you loved Factfulness, Lost Connections, and What White People Can Do Next, this book will challenge some of your truths and change the way you give.

Does charitable giving still matter but need to change? Philanthropy, the use of private assets for public good, has been much criticised in recent years. Do elite philanthropists wield too much power? Is big-money philanthropy unaccountable and therefore anti-democratic? And what about so-called “tainted donations” and “dark money” funding pseudo-philanthropic political projects? The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified many of these criticisms, leading some to conclude that philanthropy needs to be fundamentally reshaped if it is to play a positive role in our future. Rhodri Davies, drawing on his deep knowledge of the past and present landscape of philanthropy, explains why it’s important to ask what philanthropy is for because it has for centuries played a major role in shaping our world. Considering the alternatives, including charity, justice, taxation, the state, democracy and the market, he examines the pressing questions that philanthropy must tackle if it is to be equal to the challenges of the 21st century.

From the house of Philanthropy Ireland

Issue Brief: The Need to Strengthen 'S' in ESG for Better Corporate Philanthropy
The importance of collecting and visualising data in the philanthropy sector
Tableau: Exploring Data Visualisation for Philanthropic Organisations
An Overview of Charitable Giving in Ireland 2020
The Impact of The 2013 Change in the Tax Treatment of Charitable Donations
Institutional Philanthropy and Social Investment in Ireland Study
Philanthropy Ireland Codes of Practice

Philanthropy Glossary

Foundation
A non-governmental, non-profit organization with assets provided by a donor or donors. It is administered by its own officers and expends its income for public benefit. There is no distinct legal definition of a ‘foundation’. Most frequently ‘foundation’ or ‘trust’ is used to interchangeably to describe charities with private, independent and sustainable income that fulfil their purposes by funding or otherwise supporting individuals or other organisations.
Family Foundation
A foundation whose funds are derived from members of a single family. One or more family members play a significant role in governing and/or managing the foundation throughout its life.
Independent Foundation
A foundation that is usually founded by private resources, often by bequest. They are occasionally termed "non-operating" because they do not run their own programs.
Operating Foundation
A foundation that uses the bulk of their income to provide charitable services or to run charitable programs of their own. They make few, if any, grants to outside organisation.
Grantmaking Foundation
A self-governing foundation that uses their income to make grants to other charitable organizations for projects as prescribed in the terms of their establishment.
Corporate Giving
Philanthropic giving that a profit-making company voluntarily undertakes to responsibly manage and account for its impact on society.
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