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Strategic Giving: The Art and Science of Philanthropy Hardcover – September 5, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0226266268 ISBN-10: 0226266265

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Editorial Reviews


"Thought-provoking . . . [Strategic Giving] makes an extremely strong case for so-called planned giving."
(Christopher Ondaatje Times Higher Education Supplement 2006-10-13)

"A very useful and highly pragmatic book about American philanthropy that should be welcomed by all students of foundations and not-for-profit institutions."
(Helmut K. Anheier American Journal of Sociology)

"Frumkin's book is impressive in its scale and depth. It contains something for every type of reader--seasoned scholars of the field, old and new practitioners, and those who want to begin an education about issues of philanthropy. . . . A major contribution to the field. With it, Frumkin develops a theoretical framework from which we can all learn."
(Andrew Rich Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly)

"This book represents a major contribution to the analysis of philanthropic giving in the United States. . . .  The most important contribution of Strategic Giuving is that it conceptualises philanthropy. By doing so it helps to show its limits as well as its strengths. Frumkin identifies the distinctive featue of phlanthropy in the the fact that this allows private resources to be used to enact a private vision of the public good."
(Francesca Borgonovi Social Policy)

"The fundamental questions that Peter Frumkion raises in this book are important, very timely, and crucial for any student of philanthropy. . . . When the next congressional committee to study the role of philanthropy in the American society convenes, Strategic Giving . . . will be its first and foremost source of guidance. This book is a must for all students of the nonprofit sector and philanthropy, as it covers new territories and opens a plethora of new intellectual challenges."
(Ram Cnaan Journsal of Sociology and Social Welfare)

“Peter Frumkin has written an important and provocative book that will be read and debated for years to come. Strategic Giving is both a comprehensive, critical analysis of modern philanthropy and a useful guide for wealthy donors who want to distribute their money to meet public needs as effectively as possible.”

(Pablo Eisenberg Stanford Social Innovation Review)

About the Author

Peter Frumkin is professor of social policy and faculty director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, both at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Strategic Giving and The Essence of Strategic Giving.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226266265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226266268
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #817,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Lippincott VINE VOICE on October 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is good, well written, and includes lots of thought. Clearly much time was spent writing it.

This book is not for the philanthropist who merely gives a little. And it is not a guide for major donors who want to give effectively and in an informed and strategic way. Instead, this book is for major donors to read and learn more about the donor world that exists today. It provides a comprehensive theoretical framework of that world along with analysis.

I just got done reading Tracy Gary's "Inspired Philanthropy" written in 2002 (ISBN: 0787964107) which covers the same subject material, but in a different perspective. Instead of going heavy on the theoretical framework of the donor world as Frumkin does, Gary provides a guide to creating one's "giving plan." In a way I think "Inspired Philanthropy" and "Strategic Giving" are companion books even though different authors write them. By reading Frumkin's book along with Gary's book major donors can BETTER create a giving plan.

The book has the following 10 chapters:

1. Philanthropy and the Public Sector

2. Central Problems in Philanthropy

3. Donors and Professionals

4. The Idea of Strategic Giving

5. Dimensions of Philanthropic Value

6. Logic Models: Theories of Change, Leverage and Scale

7. Institutions and Vehicles

8. Giving Styles

9. Time Frames for Giving

10. Measuring, Knowing and Acting

I found the first three chapters to be my favorite. It is where the author explains that the nonprofit sector lacks much accountability and thus donors who donate blindly may be throwing their money into black holes.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elisabeth Bosch on July 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Highly recommended reading: esp. chapter 2 which addresses critical areas in philanthropy: effectiveness, accountability, legitimacy. The empirical scope is US only but very much up to date (and Europeans like me expect somewhat similar developments in our countries, so we can learn lots from current US discourses).

It's a relief to see themes addressed with some clarity that are often talked about, but - since they really ARE difficult and touch on sensitive power issues - tend to get washed over: what really is effectiveness for a foundation? A donor? Does it lie mostly with the grantees' effectiveness? Frumkin's emphasis on "mission effectiveness" points to a more comprehensive, and more honest, self evaluation.

Or: who are donors and foundations accountable to? What would such accountability consist of? Just transparency? How could peer accountability be achieved?

On the positive side, what are the advantages in a field of activity based on voluntary acts, how can pitfalls be avoided and these advantages be strengthened?

One question mark: Frumkin does mention social change funding trends ("alternative funds") that take accountability and legitimacy very seriously and, e.g., stressed funding eye to eye with the fundations' constituencies, but he relegates them to the past. Is he not aware of the women's funding movement? WFN now has 128 member organizations with $450 mio. working assets and, more importantly, involving thousands and thousands of staff and volunteers in social change giving. Here in Germany we register steady interest in this funding model which provides relatively good answers to the issues Frumkin puts his finger on.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Buyer anoymous on December 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book addresses the key issues of targetting your recipient. The book U.N. a Cosa Nostra demonstrates how wrong good intentions can turn out when applied to the wrong charity...U.N. a Cosa Nostra: The workings of an organization 'helping' the poorest of the world (Volume 1)L'Empire De La Honte (Le Livre de Poche) (French Edition)
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