How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Home, Community, and World-at No Cost!


Almost every daily action can result in a small but deeply meaningful act of giving. Here are 330 unexpected ideas for making a difference — ideas that have nothing to do with the size of your bank account and everything to do with using assets  you already have. As Julie Salamon, author of Hospital, says, "This book is the perfect guide for those who want to do the right thing, but can't figure out how."

Get Generous, Get Creative:
Use ...

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How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Home, Community, and World-at No Cost!

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Almost every daily action can result in a small but deeply meaningful act of giving. Here are 330 unexpected ideas for making a difference — ideas that have nothing to do with the size of your bank account and everything to do with using assets  you already have. As Julie Salamon, author of Hospital, says, "This book is the perfect guide for those who want to do the right thing, but can't figure out how."

Get Generous, Get Creative:
Use your belongings: You're not just giving away stuff: You're keeping an abandoned animal warm, helping a woman land a job, making a sick child's dream come true.

Use your family: Give new meaning to quality time: Adopt a puppy; become a frog watcher; be a host family for the Fresh Air Fund; deposit change in a Giving Jar; sign up for National Family Volunteer Day.

Use your talents: Match your skills with a cause: Are you a whiz at Web design, accounting, writing? Help a school in Guatemala design a brochure; organize the books in your community center; write a grant proposal for a local homeless shelter.

Use your computer: Give back without leaving your desk: Use a search engine that donates money to charities each time you click; be a virtual mentor to an orphaned teen; sign online petitions about vital issues.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Della A. Yannuzzi
Author Boles has written an interesting resource book describing how anyone can make a difference in the world at no cost. She offers 330 ideas detailing how to do this by using your talents, time, computer, family, community, and more. In the introduction, Boles stresses that a philanthropist tries to make a difference with whatever riches he or she possesses. She gives examples of people who have come up with ideas to better their world. An example is Jed Koslow who ran a triathlon to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Another way to offer help is through the Internet. A site named "Games for Change" offers a series of digital games that promise awareness of social problems. At, a virtual mentor can connect with a parentless teen to talk and offer advice. Another way to offer help is through volunteerism, which only requires the budding philanthropist's time. Volunteer opportunities are everywhere. Boles book lists online sites dedicated to volunteer services. Giving backing to your community can also offer endless opportunities. For example, Gretchen Holt of New York City, along with volunteers, baked almost 100,000 cookies to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Their efforts raised $400,000. There is something for everyone in this book, both young and old. It is a much needed resource in a world that needs many "Everyday Philanthropists." Reviewer: Della A. Yannuzzi
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761155041
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/12/2009
  • Pages: 215
  • Sales rank: 626,656
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicole Bouchard Boles is an expert in no-cost philanthropy and works with companies and individuals to help incorporate giving into their everyday lives. She lives with her family in Alberta, Canada.

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Read an Excerpt

Use Your Trash
"One man's trash is another man's treasure." — Anonymous

In the spring of 1947, Homer and Langley Collyer — brothers, recluses, and pack rats— were found dead in their New York City brownstone. Also found were fourteen out-of-tune pianos, three dressmaker's dummies, three thousand books, pieces of a Model T Ford, camera equipment, bowling balls, musical instruments, furniture, the rusted frame of a baby carriage, and rooms stacked to the ceiling with the results of nearly forty years of obsessive and compulsive hoarding. One hundred and three tons of it, to be exact. Rescue workers discovered Homer's body almost immediately, but it took another eighteen days to uncover Langley. His body was found decomposing under an old suitcase and three bundles of newspapers.

Clearly, the Collyer brothers thought all this junk was something worth hanging on to. And in a way, I can see where they were coming from. It's one thing to toss out a banana peel, but a car engine? Surely something so solid should be worth something! Using our trash as a philanthropic tool requires adopting a bit of a Collyer mentality — not the hoarding urge but the part of them that saw value in garbage. You already know that your belongings can pack a philanthropic punch; now see how your trash can do the same.

Down to the Last Scrap
We fill our garbage cans with things that shouldn't be there — recyclables, bulky and hazardous waste, as well as plain old household trash that could be reduced if we'd just make a few changes to our daily routines. In the U.S., we generate 230 million tons of garbage a year — that's about 4.6 pounds of discarded stuff per person per day.  Despite raised environmental awareness over the last twenty years, we still have a long way to go. Consider this: Less than a quarter of garbage in the U.S. is recycled. The rest of it goes into the country's approximately 7,000

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Table of Contents


1. Use Your Body

2. Use Your Family

3. Use Your Computer

4. Use Your Talents

5. Use Your Belongings

6. Use Your Trash

7. Use Your Time

8. Use Your Community

9. Use our Decisions

10. Use Your Awareness

11. Use (a little bit of) Your Resources

Appendix A: Use Your Calendar

Appendix B: Further Reading


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  • Posted December 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Timely Book that will Change the Concept of 'Gifting'

    Yes, 'tis the Christmas Season and the traffic is awful, the stores are packed, and folks buy gifts worrying in the back of their minds how they will pay for everyone on the Christmas List come next month's bills. That is only one reason why it is such a pleasure to come across this brief but warmly sharing book HOW TO BE AN EVERYDAY PHILANTHROPIST by Nicole Bouchard Boles. It is difficult to not change old habits and value systems after reading her wise ideas and helpful maps on how to help the world be a better place. Though the book is not a seasonal book, it is one that belongs as a stocking stuffer for the Holidays - a gift that will provide a sense of satisfaction in the coming years as we follow the author's suggestions on how to 'give back'.

    The format of the book is very user friendly. Each section is divided into how to re-think what each of us has as a potential for helping others, a section of writing that is supportive in suggesting how everyone is capable of being a giver or an 'everyday philanthropist'. The author then follows her mind set changes with practical, easy steps that show the depth of research that went into this book, finding ways to give of ourselves in every fashion - and the directory for this new vision is the computer!

    How to give back to the community the things that are missing in the lives of those less fortunate than us? Nicole Bouchard Boles offers the following sections: Use Your Body (from organ donation to being someone's eyes in reading to the blind, to using the legs to run marathons for charity, etc); Use Your Family (volunteering as family to be Big Brother or Big Sister, caring for other people's pets, etc); Use Your Computer (she gives a large number of reliable computer addresses that direct us to ideal charitable organizations); Use Your Talents (such as Pro Bono work, Habitat for Humanity, provide grant proposals for those in need of assistance in that field); Use Your Belongings (care packages to soldiers, books for prisoners, donate clothes, cars, food, timeshares); Use your Time (volunteer in times of disaster, on election day, ring a Christmas Kettle Bell); Use your Community, Your Decisions, Your Awareness.

    This book is not only a pleasure to read as a means of discovering how much we all have that we could share to make the world a friendlier and better place, it also is one of the best resources published on how to find reliable internet sources to help the reader mark the path toward changing the idea of gifting. Just reading this book makes for an eye-opening experience on how very easy it is to feel the joy of being a significant citizen.

    Grady Harp

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