Philanthropy That Gets Results

Published Date: 2011-03-29

“…An absolute must-read…This book is among the very best I have seen in an emerging genre of donor-education literature.”—Phil Buchanan, president, Center for Effective Philanthropy in the Chronicle of Philanthropy

New York, March 29, 2011—The Bridgespan Group and Public Affairs Books today announced the release of Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results, a book designed to assist individuals who are seeking to get results with their Philanthropy.

According to Bridgespan Co-founder and Give Smart Co-author Thomas J. Tierney, “Philanthropy represents an opportunity to make an unprecedented impact in our world; Americans donated approximately $300 billion in 2010, and in the first half of the twenty-first century giving to family and community foundations alone will be ten times in today’s dollars what it was throughout the entire twentieth century.”

More than 50 billionaires have joined Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates’ Giving Pledge to donate half their fortunes, commitments that are estimated to total over $600 billion. We are poised at the brink of a historic wealth transfer. And the giving is more than financial—service programs like Teach for America and City Year are rapidly becoming premier choices for America’s top college graduates while more trailing boomers are seeking “encore careers,” postponing retirement to pursue work that creates social impact. “However,” says Co-author Joel L. Fleishman, “tremendous innovation in the social sector and the best of intentions are not enough—because of its very nature, philanthropy regularly underperforms…

How do you ensure these generous gifts of time and money are as effective as they can be? Almost a decade ago, Tierney began tackling these questions on how to strengthen the social sector when he left Bain & Company to co-found the Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit focused on helping donors and nonprofits to maximize their impact. Over the past 10 years it has advised “both sides of the grant”—philanthropists, leading foundations and hundreds of nonprofits—on how to work together in achieving the changes they envision in the world. Now, in Give Smart, Tierney distills 10 years of Bridgespan’s experience, knowledge, and case studies with philanthropy expert Joel L. Fleishman’s research and insights to create a much-needed primer for philanthropists and the nonprofit organizations they support.

Both authors assert that philanthropy is personal and situational. There is no magic formula for one’s philanthropic work; the path to results is through wrestling with the right questions at the right time.Give Smart asks six challenging questions to guide donors through the process:

  • 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?
  • Am I getting better?

A how-to-do-it Gospel of Wealth for 21st century philanthropists,Give Smart presents the definitive guide for engaged donors and nonprofit leaders to achieve real, lasting change in the world.

Generous sponsorship from Goldman Sachs Gives made Give Smart possible.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Liz London, at 646-562-8906 or

About MB

Of all the choices I've made in life, the one that has had a lasting wonderment about it has been to toss out any emphasis on living in a material world. Dropping out of the chattel race in America opens up the extraordinary. Rock on, fellow drop outs. Oh, and motherhood is the greatest journey ever!

Posted on November 22, 2011, in Observations and Press Releases. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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