A practical, inspirational guide
to philanthropy, at all levels
Giving Done Right, by Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) President Phil Buchanan, arms donors with what it takes to do more good, more quickly, and to avoid predictable errors that lead too many astray.
An essential resource for donors and foundation staff
The widely acclaimed Giving Done Right offers the intellectual frameworks, data-driven insights, tools, and practical examples to allow readers to understand exactly what it takes to make a difference. In a powerful foreword, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker writes, “In these pages, Phil not only synthesizes the many lessons he’s learned… he combines data and stories with practical advice for givers of every kind and category and helps all of us who want to figure out how to do it more effectively.”
Called the “Best Philanthropy Book of the Year” by Inside Philanthropy and “a must read for those who really want to make a difference when supporting non-profits” by Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson, Giving Done Right speaks to givers at all levels.
This is a crucial resource that reveals the secrets and lessons learned – some painful, some powerful — from some of the biggest givers. After years of rampant bad advice for donors from consultants, business school faculty, and other so-called experts – much of it rooted in inapt analogies to business and investing – Giving Done Right cuts through it all and helps givers understand that effective philanthropy is a challenge like no other. It also reminds us of the unique and crucial role giving and the nonprofit sector have played in this country.
Giving Done Right is about what works, and it draws on and encapsulates nearly two decades of CEP’s research and work. But it’s also filled with the stories of the people who bring philanthropy to life. You’ll meet the early “venture philanthropist” who concedes he has learned that venture capital is not a good analogy for philanthropy, and is now helping others to understand the unique challenge of giving well. You’ll learn about the foundation president who fancied himself the LeBron James of philanthropy, “taking his talents” from the business world — only to learn the hard way that they didn’t apply in a very different domain.
You’ll also read about the examples of great giving that has transformed lives: expanding human rights, reducing childhood mortality, and strengthening communities. And you’ll meet nonprofit leaders like Tiffany, whose early experiences with racism inspired her to dedicate her life to closing the achievement gap, and Gregg, who spends his days and nights recruiting the most at-risk young people in his community out of gangs — to literally save their lives. Finally, you’ll meet those whose lives have been changed by giving done right. People like Crisamar, who credits her success in life to Tiffany’s organization. And Andre, whose “big mistake” nearly cost him everything — until Gregg’s nonprofit helped him turn his life around. And you’ll learn how they have become givers, too.
Because giving done right is like that. It ripples outward, with benefits beyond what anyone could imagine.
Giving Done Right In Conversation
LOOKING FORWARD TO UPCOMING REICH-BUCHANAN DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER GIVING BY WEALTHY IS A GOOD THING OR NOT
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[Interview] ‘Giving Done Right: Effective Philanthropy and Making Every Dollar Count with Denver Frederick’
“Phil Buchanan knows and celebrates the diversity of the nonprofit sector, from the smallest community-based organization to the largest university or museum; from the individual donor making small annual gifts to her favorite charities to the largest private foundation awarding hundreds of millions in grants. Giving Done Right is full of data, insights, and helpful suggestions for us all.”
“Giving Done Right is essential reading for anyone working in philanthropy concerned about truly making a difference. Buchanan’s book distills his years of learning into easy-to-understand lessons that will influence how I do my work. I wish I’d had this book before I started my job. Many critics question how philanthropy, with its massive concentrations of wealth, can contribute to a healthy democracy. This book provides a clear answer.”
“In clear, hard-hitting prose, Phil Buchanan offers a compelling analysis of how donors—of all shapes and sizes—can make a worthy difference to the people and issues they care about. Using experiences gleaned from almost two decades at the center of philanthropic activity in the United States, Buchanan presents the insights, data, examples, analysis, and words to the wise that no individual or organization concerned with building a better world can afford to be without. A must read!”
“Phil Buchanan has dedicated his professional life to the question of what makes philanthropy most effective. Throughout, he has remained committed to the idea that nonprofits need a disciplined focus on results, while also keeping clear that nonprofits differ in significant ways from business. Anyone who seeks to achieve impactful philanthropy would do well to learn from his vast experience and deep wisdom.”
“Phil Buchanan is arguably the best informed and most insightful thought leader in philanthropy today, and this book shows him at his best. Like its author, Giving Done Right is grounded in data, animated by real stories well told, and provocative in ways that shed more light than heat. An essential and highly readable guide for foundations and donors ready to move beyond feeling good to doing good.”
“Giving Done Right punctures myths and provides helpful guidance about the complexities and joys of philanthropy. Buchanan makes a persuasive and always practical case for why non-profits are not like businesses, why giving is not like investing, and how readers can find their own satisfying path to doing great good.”
“A thoughtful, engaging read with important insights and valuable analysis to help donors and philanthropists be more effective with their giving. A must read for those who really want to make a difference when supporting non-profits.”
“In Giving Done Right, Buchanan has widened his clear vision beyond foundations by providing a reliable guide for all donors—individuals, foundations, corporations and indeed recipients of charitable dollars—who are determined to do their charitable giving and spending the right way. Anyone resolved to get the biggest and wisest bang for their charitable dollars need look no further for guidance now than this experience-filled, reader-friendly book.”
“Giving Done Right should be required reading for anyone looking to better understand how to achieve more effectiveness in their giving. Phil Buchanan’s research, data, and storytelling make clear the challenges with bringing a business mindset to solving social problems. This book provides a thorough overview of the change in mindset necessary to attain more satisfaction with your giving.”
“For any philanthropist—whether you give large amounts or small—your money will go much further and your impact will be much deeper if you understand the insights and advice offered in this book. It is the essential guide to effective giving in the 21st century, so you can play your part in the great American tradition of giving back. Don’t donate without it.”
“Giving is easy. Giving with real impact is anything but. In this go-to primer, Phil Buchanan offers invaluable insights about the art and practice of strategic philanthropy.”