Good Reads in Philanthropy

August 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm Leave a comment

If you’re heading out to the beach for vacation, take along one of these non-traditional beach books – soak up some philanthropy stories as well as
the sun.

Give It Away, Give It Away: Acts in Philanthropy
Lynn Hawkingbird
Webster’s Digital Services, 2011
This book explores a host of ideas and beliefs about philanthropy, from Giving Circles to Pay It Forward and from alternative giving to gift economy.

Giving it All Away: The Doris Buffett Story

Michael Zitz
The Permanent Press, 2010
Warren Buffet’s 82-year old sister Doris has a simple mission in life: to give away her millions before she dies.

Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results
Thomas J. Tierney and Joel L. Fleishman
Public Affairs, 2011
Tierney and Fleishman argue that during this economic downturn, wealthy philanthropists should make “a shift from not just serving to solving.”

Giving Well: The Ethics of Philanthropy
Patricia Illingworth, Thomas Pogge, Leif Wenar
Oxford University Press, 2011
An international group of distinguished philosophers, social scientists, lawyers and practitioners tackle the most pressing moral questions surfacing in the practice of philanthropy today.

Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity
Mario Morino
Venture Philanthropy Partners, 2011
Philanthropist Mario Morino, along with a host of prominent nonprofit leaders, puts forth the convincing argument that the difficult challenges created by mounting budgetary pressures at all levels of government compel the social sector to become clearer in their goals, more deliberate in defining methodology, more willing to admit mistakes and more adaptable all while keeping an unrelenting focus on improving lives

Mistakes to Success: Learning and Adapting When Things Go Wrong
Robert Giloth, Colin Austin, 2010
The authors present a collection of revealing essays focused on failures in the field of community economic development because they believe that discussing, analyzing and learning from mistakes should be a common practice used to strengthen the work of nonprofits.

The Power of Half
Kevin Salwen, Hannah Salwen
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
The chronicle of the Salwen family, who sold their Atlanta mansion, moved to a home half the size and donated half the proceeds to charity.

Social Enterprise: Empowering Mission-Driven Entrepreneurs
Marc Lane
ABA Book Publishing, 2011
Lane focuses on the unique tax and legal issues lawyers must know when counseling nonprofit and for-profit organizations who conduct socially conscious business.

Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know
David Bornstein, Susan Davis
Oxford University Press, 2010
Bornstein and Davis give readers an understanding of what differentiates social entrepreneurship from standard business ventures and how this differs from traditional grant-based nonprofit work.

Contact Claudia Herrold at if you are interested in submitting a book review.

Entry filed under: Commentaries.

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