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Delusional Altruism: Why Philanthropists Fail To Achieve Change and What They Can Do To Transform Giving

Delusional Altruism: Why Philanthropists Fail To Achieve Change and What They Can Do To Transform Giving

by Kris Putnam-Walkerly


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How you give matters. Discover philanthropic strategies for creating transformational change.

Whether you regularly donate to charity, run a small family foundation, or are responsible for millions of dollars in grants, you are a philanthropist. Delusional Altruism: Why Philanthropists Fail To Achieve Change and What They Can Do To Transform Giving looks at how you can create transformational change. It reminds us that how we give is as important as the amount we give. The author describes common practices that hinder transformational change and explains how to avoid them, ensuring that your gifts help create the impact you seek.

Delusional Altruism—a set of all-too-common errors in philanthropic strategy—can derail a program of giving and result in a loss of efficiency and effectiveness. This book asks philanthropists and charitable organizations to consider whether they have fallen under the spell of Delusional Altruism. Are you cutting out impactful giving in order to save money or avoid uncertainty? Is your philanthropic approach unnecessarily restricted by traditional thinking? This book will help you answer these questions and determine how you can achieve better outcomes through the process of Transformational Giving.

  • Ask questions that spur learning and fuel innovation
  • Believe that investment in yourself and your operation is important
  • Increase the speed of your actions to increase the impact of your giving
  • Give in ways that create lasting, sustainable change
  • Follow strategies to make your philanthropy unstoppable

Although enhanced opportunities for philanthropic giving are on the horizon, changes to philanthropic practice are needed to prevent this philanthropy boom from becoming under-leveraged. Implementing updated approaches now can lead to positive change for the future. Read Delusional Altruism to learn how you can transform reality with strategic giving.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119606062
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/24/2020
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

KRIS PUTNAM-WALKERLY, MSW, is a trusted advisor to the world's leading philanthropists. For over 20 years, ultra-high- net-worth donors, foundations, Fortune 500 companies, celebrity activists, and wealth advisors have sought and benefited from her advice to transform their giving and catapult their impact. Her clients include the J.M. Smucker Company, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, National Center for Family Philanthropy, and the Cleveland Foundation. Kris was named one of America's Top 25 Philanthropy Speakers. Learn more at

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

Introduction xvii

Part I Delusional Altruism 1

Chapter 1 You Save Money on All the Wrong Things 3

Chapter 2 You are Fearful 21

Chapter 3 You Respond Too Slowly 35

Chapter 4 You Have Too Many Steps 43

Chapter 5 You are Too Overwhelmed to Take Your Next Step 51

Chapter 6 You are Fooled by Your Own Efforts 61

Chapter 7 You Ask the Wrong Questions 71

Part II Transformational Giving 79

Chapter 8 You Start with the Right Questions 81

Chapter 9 You See and Act Abundantly 109

Chapter 10 You are Fast 123

Chapter 11 You Transform Lives 141

Chapter 12 You are Unstoppable 177

Chapter 13 You Found Your North Star 195

Chapter 14 You Do What It Takes 211

Chapter 15 Get Moving: Transform Your Giving and Change the World! 225

Acknowledgments 231

About the Author 235

Index 237

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