Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results

Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results

3.0 1
by Thomas J. Tierney, Joel L. Fleishman

See All Formats & Editions

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. Yet despite tremendous innovation in the social sector, philanthropy's natural state is under-performance. Not since Andrew Carnegie wrote The Gospel of Wealth has a book been


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. Yet despite tremendous innovation in the social sector, philanthropy's natural state is under-performance. Not since Andrew Carnegie wrote The Gospel of Wealth has a book been written that provides practical guidance for donors to get the most impact from their giving.

Almost a decade ago, Thomas J. Tierney left Bain&Company to co-found The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit focused on helping donors and nonprofit leaders to develop and execute strategies to accelerate social change. In Give Smart, Tierney pools his hands-on knowledge with philanthropy expert Joel L. Fleishman to create a much-needed primer for philanthropists and the nonprofit organizations they support. Drawing from personal experiences, testimonials, and Bridgespan's case studies, including those of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Give Smart picks up where Jim Collins' Good to Great and the Social Sectors left off and presents the first in-depth, expert guide for engaged donors and nonprofit leaders.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Intended for would-be philanthropists uncertain of their goals or priorities, and non-profit leaders or grantees who want to understand their benefactors, Tierney (cofounder of the nonprofit Bridgespan Group) and Fleishman (author of The Foundation, and professor of Law and Public Policy at Duke) offer a go-to guide to philanthropy. Though an obvious advantage of giving is personal fulfillment, examples of business people putting capital where their mouth is and achieving high returns are also discussed. The authors point out that making a difference isn't easily accomplished in a macro sense; and sometimes it's better to piggyback on other successful non-profits instead of establishing a trust or non-profit in one's own name (Warren Buffet's 41 billion dollar gift to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for example). Alternatively, a financial gift can bolster a fledgling effort that has a great deal of promise. The authors offer suggestions for how to choose a non-profit and advice on reconciling a difference of vision between a non-profit and a philanthropist. An interesting and well-considered guide to go to before you give.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher
Jim Collins
Give Smart is a great gift to the world. By asking questions—the right questions—Tierney and Fleishman guide, advise, challenge, and, as with all great teachers, push us to find our own best answers. If you want your philanthropy to be useful—changing lives, solving intractable problems, making society work better—then engage deeply with this book!”

Melinda Gates
“One of the most exciting and important parts of my job as a philanthropist is learning. Over the years, Bill and I have learned so much from the authors of this book, and we are thrilled to see that wisdom collected in Give Smart so that everybody can benefit from it the way we have.”
Helene Gayle
“Having been on ‘both sides of the check,’ first working in philanthropy and now as a recipient of philanthropic dollars, I found Give Smart a must read. The relationship between grantmakers and nonprofit organizations is a delicate dance, one that—when done well—can achieve incredible social good. Not only does this book provide a practical guide for those who want to achieve high impact philanthropy, it also helps nonprofits understand the aspirations and expectations of the donor. Don’t begin, or continue, your philanthropy without reading it.”
Paul Brest
“Giving away money is easy, but making a real difference is hard work. Give Smart addresses these challenges head-on and provides a strong analytic framework and practical advice for effective philanthropy—replete with compelling examples. Written by two leaders in the field, this is a must-read for the new philanthropist and a valuable resource for old hands as well.”
John C. Whitehead
Give Smart is must reading for all philanthropists, large or small. It’s written by two people with long experience, and it will make your gifts go farther.”

Pierre Omidyar
“As Pam and I continue to learn through our own giving, the challenges in creating positive social impact are many and complex. Give Smart provides thoughtful guidance on how to build an effective and personal approach to philanthropy, illustrated through real-world examples, proven methodologies, and insightful commentary. We highly recommend Give Smart to anyone who wants to make a difference, whether in their local community or around the world.”

Publishers Weekly, March 21, 2011 “An interesting and well-considered guide to go to before you give.”

PhilanthropyRoundtable.org,  March 31, 2011
“A superb guide for donors who want to be as smart in their giving as they have been in business.”

Alliance Magazine, June 2011 “A very readable, motivating introductory guide to engaged giving…. With its storytelling approach this will be a book that many donors will read.”

Library Journal
The goal of management consulting is to help client companies maximize their performance and potential. Tierney's experience as a Bain & Co. executive gave him the perfect background for helping nonprofits apply those same management principles to their organizations to attain success. Tierney later partnered with Fleishman, founder and former faculty chair of Duke University's Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society, to form the Bridgespan Group, which helps nonprofit managers and donors achieve their goals of social improvement. This book is the result of their many years of nonprofit coaching experience. It teems with practical advice for those seeking to find an effective way to give money to stimulate and accelerate societal improvement. VERDICT Though the target audience here is big-ticket philanthropists like foundations—or those seeking to establish foundations—the principles and strategies can also apply to small-scale donors seeking the best returns on their nonprofit investments. The case studies of well-known philanthropists, from Andrew Carnegie to Michael J. Fox, make for compelling and inspirational reading.—Carol J. Elsen, Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater Libs.

Product Details

Publication date:
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
File size:
470 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Thomas J. Tierney is the cofounder and chairman of The Bridgespan Group, a non-profit consulting firm serving the non-profit sector and its founders. Prior to founding Bridgespan, Mr. Tierney served as managing partner worldwide of Bain & Company from June 1992 to January 2000. Joel L. Fleishman is professor of Law and Public Policy at Duke University. The author of The Foundation, he has served as president of the Atlantic Philanthropic Service Company, the U.S. affiliate of Atlantic Philanthropies.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago