Good reads about giving

These are some of the best things I’ve read/ seen about giving. Comments welcome on these, and others you’ve discovered.

The basic role of effective giving:

Philanthropy’s New Agenda – Creating Value Seminal paper by Mark Kramer and Michael Porter why charitable foundations need strategy, and what foundation strategies look like. Published in Harvard Business Review, 1999

Advice for big foundations:

Money Well Spent: Advice and frameworks from Hal Harvey & Paul Brest, colleagues at the Hewlett Foundation.

The Foundation: Discursive and thoughtful reflections (and subdued ranting) by Joel Fleishman at Duke University, US

Do More Than Give: Advice on amplifying the effect of money, by Mark Kramer  and others at Foundation Strategy Group.

What any individual can do:

Giving by Bill Clinton. How to give time, money, objects, reputation… stories from 6-year-olds as well as ex-Presidents.

What major donors are doing:

Philanthrocapitalism: ‘Documentary’ (it’s a book) about what rock stars, ex-Presidents, mega-bankers and so on are doing, including using some language and practices from business.

Why are the poor poor and what can we do about it?

Poor Economics: prize-winning book from Esther Duflo & Amit Banerjee of J-PAL (see below).

Esther Duflo’s TED talk: a canter through approaches which work to alleviating extreme poverty.

Randomised control trials in development:

Innovations for Poverty Action designs and evaluates randomized evaluations of programs in various contexts. They also repeat studies in different countries to test if findings are really transferable.

J-PAL (The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT) is a global network of academics who use randomised control trials to answer questions critical to poverty alleviation.

Are big donors any good?

Criteria for Philanthropy at its Best: A set of criteria created by a membership body of US charities, against which large donors are measured. Failure dominates.


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