Giving Done Right

Effective Philanthropy and Making Every Dollar Count


By Phil Buchanan

Foreword by Darren Walker

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$22.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 16, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

A practical guide to philanthropy at all levels of giving that seeks to educate and inspire

A majority of American households give to charity in some form or another–from local donations to food banks, religious organizations, or schools, to contributions to prevent disease or protect basic freedoms. Whether you’re in a position to give $1 or $1 million, every giver needs to answer the same question: How do I channel my giving effectively to make the greatest difference?

In Giving Done Right, Phil Buchanan, the president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, arms donors with what it takes to do more good more quickly and to avoid predictable errors that lead too many astray. This crucial book will reveal the secrets and lessons learned from some of the biggest givers, from the work of software entrepreneur Tim Gill and his foundation to expand rights for LGBTQ people to the efforts of a midwestern entrepreneur whose faith told him he must do something about childhood slavery in Ghana. It busts commonly held myths and challenging the idea that “business thinking” holds the answer to effective philanthropy. And it offers the intellectual frameworks, data-driven insights, tools, and practical examples to allow readers to understand exactly what it takes to make a difference.
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  • "In Giving Done Right, Buchanan advises grant makers to exercise more humility in their giving. Coming amid grandiose claims that if only it were managed in more businesslike ways, philanthropy could do more (or exaggerated criticisms about the harms such approaches might cause), that is a welcome message, especially from a longtime proponent of effective philanthropy."
    Leslie Lenkowski, Chronicle of Philanthropy
  • "[Buchanan] lays out a framework that can help anyone engaged in philanthropy to be more thoughtful, open-minded, and willing to learn, adapt, and keep trying."
    Philanthropy News Digest
  • "Thoughtful and articulate in supporting not only the principles of effective giving but the value and contribution of effective non-profits in our history and future as a country...For me, it is his insistence that we focus on the best that each has to offer in our pursuit of working together toward a common purpose that makes this book so valuable. It is about the genuine friendship that is possible."
    Fred Smith, The Gathering
  • "Overall, for any type of giver-of any size, or ideology-Buchanan's advice is refreshingly measured. With notable discipline, it is almost always properly qualified with realistic, everyday practicalities... Buchanan has written a good book with good ideas to improve philanthropy. He and others are now having to defend philanthropy itself against overstated attacks on those who made, and how they made, the fortunes creating it. This is unfortunate."
    Michael E. Hartmann, Philanthropy Digest
  • "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."
    Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Arbuckle Professor, Harvard Business School and Founder, Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative
  • "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."
    Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
  • "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."
    Henry Timms, Co-founder of #Giving Tuesday, President and CEO, 92nd Street Y
  • "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."
    Richard Ober, President & CEO, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
  • "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."
    Stephen Heintz, President, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
  • "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."
    Pamela Norley, President, Fidelity Charitable
  • "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 that this experience-filled, reader-friendly book."
    Joel Fleishman, Director of the Duke University Center for Strategic Philanthropy, and author of Putting Wealth to Work: Philanthropy Now or Investing for Tomorrow?
  • "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."
    Jim Collins, author Good to Great, co-author Built to Last
  • "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."
    Carol Larson, President and CEO, David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • "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."
    Richard E. Besser, M.D., President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • "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!"
    Nancy Koehn, Harvard Business School historian, Author of Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times

On Sale
Apr 16, 2019
Page Count
256 pages

Phil Buchanan

About the Author

Phil Buchanan is founding chief executive of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, a seventeen-year-old nonprofit that conducts research and advises the largest foundations in the country, including Ford, Hewlett, Packard, MacArthur, and Rockefeller. He is also co-founder of YouthTruth, a national student survey provider. He is a columnist for the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and his op-eds and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Financial Times.

In 2016, the Nonprofit Times named him the nonprofit “influencer of the year,” and he has seven times been among the newspaper’s “power & influence top 50.” He speaks around the country on philanthropic issues and lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.

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