33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2007
Joel Fleishman's book lays an excellent bedrock of history underneath its discussion of philanthropy as a great element of American tradition. We live in days of some staggering examples - from Warren Buffet's living bequest of billions, to the fine work of Bill and Melinda Gates - and many others. But rather than see this as some product of the new millennium - Fleishman shows how the new avatars of corporate generosity are following a fine tradition. More than this, the author shows that certain gifting strategies have been leveraged for huge social benefit. For those who are thinking - at whatever scale - of giving to support a cause, this book sets out the strategies that have produced most benefit. This is an excellent, thoughtful piece of work on a topic that currently has wide currency. Well worth reading.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2007
Foundations are a subset of Non-Profit organizations that have become surprisingly big busines in the United States. Somewhere around 1/7th of the business in the country is conducted by these organizations. Somewhere around 1/9th of the workforce is employed by one. They have become an integral part of the American economy.
In this book Mr. Fleishman looks at Foundations (a number of which he has been associated as employee, trustee or some other capacity). He examines what makes a foundation successful, and how some have failed. He offers insight and advice on how to make a foundation more successful, and at the same time how foundations should have an obligation to become more accountable since they received special tax considerations from the Government. He suggests that this accountability should be done by the foundations voluntarily. However, Mr. Fleishman is an attorney and believes that if voluntary response is not forthcoming then new legal requirements should be placed upon them to require more openness.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2007
I'm a high tech entrepreneur turned social entrepreneur. This book gives an excellent analysis of the foundation world from an optimistic perspective combined with a healthy amount of constructive criticism.
Something that makes this book standout are the wealth of real world examples of both success and failure. In addition to those in the book, there's a companion piece with 100 case studies available for free download as well as purchasable as a paperback book.
What I enjoyed very much was meaty discussion of key aspects of the foundation structure. Fleishman's style is direct and clear: his points are made well and are backed up with real examples. One of the best books I've read about the social sector!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is a little mentioned corner of the grand American experiment. Long ignored by historians, the origins of American foundations is a worthy subject of study. American history textbooks devote much space to the so-called Gilded Age, making note of the contributions made by journalists in exposing the injustices of corporations such as Standard Oil, but no mention is made of the extraordinary contributions these founding fathers of corporate and private giving have made on the American landscape. Just think of the extraordinary universities founding at the turn-of-the century. Fleishman's focus tends toward more recent exemplars but the spirit and the enormity of their contributions to our lives is no less worthy of attention.
on April 4, 2013
If you are interested in understanding the philanthropic world and in contributing to it, The Foundation offers the nuts and bolts of understanding concepts, ideas, and the true foundation of philanthropy. The book was given to me when I was a director of the Board of the American Psychiatric Foundation and I bought the Kindle edition to have it with me at all times. It's one of those books that you will enjoy and learn more in re-reads.