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Robin Hood Was Right: A Guide to Giving Your Money for Social Change Hardcover – March 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 286 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Subsequent edition (March 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393048276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393048278
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,185,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Veteran activists Chuck Collins and Pam Rogers show that charity dollars can make a huge difference if they are used for lasting social change. In Robin Hood Was Right, Collins and Rogers question the results of decades of traditional philanthropy. They write, "We give to help the poor, but poverty prevails. We contribute to save the environment, but corporate destruction of our land and waters continues. We donate to shelters, but millions remain homeless." The two call for new ways of giving, ones that "close the divide between rich and poor." That means giving to an emerging group of "social change foundations" that tackle the root causes of poverty and other injustices by working to increase affordable housing and raise the minimum wage.

Robin Hood Was Right is a practical guide to donating for change. It features profiles of foundations, a worksheet to figure out how much you can afford to give, a list of resources for the socially responsible investor, and even a section on how to set up a family charitable foundation if you have more than $1 million to donate. The book also includes cartoons and notable quotes about giving, such as this saying from oil baron J. Paul Getty: "Money is like manure: It's only good if it's spread around." This is a wonderful book for people considering donating in order to right social and economic injustice, whether they can give hundreds or millions of dollars a year. --Dan Ring

From Booklist

The authors acknowledge that Americans contributed $109 billion to charity last year, but they question whether "we [are] spending our charitable dollars effectively." They argue that traditional philanthropy focuses on alleviating the symptoms of society's ills, and they challenge us to support causes that look for solutions to social problems. The authors certainly practice what they preach. They all hold executive positions with organizations actively devoted to social change; Collins is an heir to the Oscar Mayer fortune and a member of Responsible Wealth, a Boston-based advocacy group. After contrasting traditional philanthropy with their approach to promoting social change, they examine the personal issues and roadblocks that affect charitable giving, provide practical guidelines for socially responsible investing and "tax-wise" giving, and recommend a personalized giving plan. Each of the 14 chapters profiles a different organization dedicated to a progressive cause, and appendixes list more than 150 such groups, foundations, and other resources. David Rouse

More About the Author

Chuck Collins is author of 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It (www.99to1book.org). He is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies where he directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good (www.inequality.org). He is cofounder of Wealth for the Common Good (www.wealthforcommongood.org), a national network of business leaders and high net worth individuals concerned about shared prosperity and fair taxation. He is a national expert on economic inequality, tax policy, corporate power and class privilege and power. He lives in Boston, Mass.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brian Corr on March 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you ever wonder if you can make a difference, this book will clear up any doubts. Collins, Rogers and Garner make it crystal clear that anyone who cares about curing society's ills can make a significant difference by giving what they can for social change. Packed with resources, examples, and how-to charts and guides, Robin Hood Was Right charts a clear path from wondering if you can make a difference to improving things from your neighborhood to countries on the other side of the globe. In a time where "donor fatigue" is cited as the reason why people grow increasingly indifferent to social injustice, less and less concerned with the state of the environment, and more hard-hearted about the homeless, Robin Hood has the cure to what ails you -- and our world.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Anyone concerned with social change and economic justice should run, not walk to the nearest neighborhood bookstore and grab a copy of Robin Hood Was Right. It is a highly readable, wonderfully informative, essential guide to gaining a deeper understanding of how money affects all our lives, and the practical steps we can take to avoid the pitfalls of the unexamined life. Regardless of your class or wealth status, this book will change the way you view your role in the world in relation to money and the power it provides and witholds.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I feel like I have waited my whole life for this book. It is a fantastic resource for dealing with money and giving money away. There is a lot of information, but it's well-organized and the stories and analysis are insightful and illuminating. Now everyone in my family is reading it. Remember what The Joy of Sex did for our ideas and practices about sex? That's what this book does for you about money and giving.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nelson Zane Eisman on April 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Robin Hood Was Right" is an entertaining and intelligent guide to contributing to social change. Instead of replying to the nightly phone solicitations or the direct mail appeals, the reader can take control of the contribution process to focus on the values and outcomes desired.
I especially enjoyed the cartoons and sidebars. The text is thoughtful and each appendix offers an array of legitimate organizations. I recommend this book to anyone, who like me, wants to be sure that giving will make a difference. That the book is also a good read is just a free bonus.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey L. Seglin on January 9, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Good intentioned book on the importance of giving money for social change. But the book left me short by not addressing the authors' own observation that "uncertainty about the impact of your gifts" can cause the most philanthropic among us to balk at giving. Book would have been so much more helpful if the authors had spent more time on how a reader can intelligently evaluate the foundations they profile in the book. We get a glimpse of what the book could have been in appendix H where the authors tell us that nonprofits with budgets of more than $250,000 have to have annual audits that are made publicly available. That's the kind of information that's really helpful...and a few words or paragraphs or even a chapter on how to read these audit statements to make sense of the health and intentions of the organizations would have been terrific.
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