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The Art of Giving: Where the Soul Meets a Business Plan Hardcover – October 26, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A unique guide to finding purpose, meaning, and results in the complex world of charitable giving

In this definitive guide, world-renowned philanthropist Charles Bronfman and lifelong expert and nonprofit leader Jeffrey Solomon show donors and potential donors how to become street-smart, effective philanthropists.

Despite their critical importance to philanthropy, donors have few resources for solid information—deciding what type of gift to give, how to structure it, the tax implications, what level of follow-up and transparency they should expect, among many other complexities. With candid, clear advice, this book fills that vacuum and helps anyone gain a special understanding of philanthropy as a business undertaking as well as a soulful process. It also shows nonprofits how to open a dialogue with the donors they serve to make smart, meaningful choices with their funds to create change.

Comprised of three key sections—The Donor, The Partners, and The Gift—The Art of Giving offers reflective questions, logistical answers, and endless resources to create a business plan for giving that works for you, regardless of income level. By exploring the differences between charity and philanthropy, the complexities of nonprofits, and the tools for making a thoughtful donation—as well as your own passions, concerns, and timeline—you will be better informed, able to confidently articulate your own interests, passions, and giving needs, and know the right questions to ask.

Whether you are a potential donor, active donor, or a nonprofit professional working with donors, The Art of Giving reveals how the act of giving benefits not only the recipient but also oneself.

From the Back Cover

The Art of Giving

Where the Soul Meets a Business Plan

Charles Bronfman & Jeffrey Solomon

Foreword by James Wolfensohn, former president, World Bank

Praise for The Art of Giving

"Anyone interested in philanthropy and not-for-profit must read The Art of Giving. It's a key playbook on how to set your goals and be sure your money is spent wisely on all sides."
—Leonard A. Lauder, chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

"In The Art of Giving, Charles Bronfman and Jeffrey Solomon offer the reader a rare gift: honesty, practicality, experience, savvy, self-awareness. Together, the donor and the professional guide us through the vineyards of philanthropy better than the solo practitioner or the cloistered academic."
—Reynold Levy, president, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

"Drawing with insight, experience, and humor on their separate paths through philanthropy, Charles Bronfman and Jeffrey Solomon have created a crisp, insightful guide for donors pursuing the true test of success: changing the world for the better."
—Diana Aviv, president and CEO, Independent Sector

"The Art of Giving provides a rare glimpse into the minds and experiences of a generous philanthropist and an experienced nonprofit administrator, effectively building upon the importance of self-reflection, intentionality, aspiration, and accountability for philanthropic investments. An important contribution to our growing literature on philanthropy."
—Michael J. Austin, director, Mack Center on Nonprofit Management, and professor, University of California, Berkeley

"The Art of Giving takes the reader on a journey through the wonderful world of philanthropy and pulls no punches in describing the lessons to be learned in combining effective giving with personal satisfaction. It has value for the entire family of the nonprofit world—donors, organizational leaders, foundations—providing easy-to-read material for those new to philanthropy as well as veterans of the field."
—Steve Gunderson, president and CEO, Council on Foundations

"Charles Bronfman has devoted his life to philanthropy, and he writes therefore with comprehensive knowledge, providing us with new and thoughtful ideas for all of us who would like to follow in his footsteps. His book should be read by all those whose lives are touched by philanthropy."
—Jacob Rothschild, honorary president, Institute for Jewish Policy Research

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (October 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470501464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470501467
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #906,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I can't tell you why I picked up this book. I am not wealthy and my donation history is modest at best. But as someone who has worked in non-profits, I am aware of the stellar reputation of the authors' organization, and was intrigued to learn what a healthy relationship between a non-profit administrator and philanthropist might be like.

The book reads easily, but don't let that fool you. The authors pack a lot of information into this volume. If you want to know how to find the cause that ignites your passion, why it must, the politics of board management relations, how to give, how and why to measure results... and understand a lot of sophisticated financial mechanisms for giving in the process (which the authors explain in laymen's terms with the greatest of ease)... this is the book for you.

But what I love most about this book is the openness and honesty with which the authors share their professional journey. Their mistakes and successes are offered readily, and their passion and dedication leaps off the page. The result for me was a sense of intimacy and inspiration that pressed me to look at my own life, and what I would like to do for others to mark my time here.

If you're a donor thinking of how to give, a developer attempting to understand your clients, an administrator steering your organization, a board member attempting to honor your responsibilities, or anyone who just feels the need to share their gifts with others in hopes of making the world a little better off, read this book.

WARNING - A word of caution about reading the "Art of Giving" on public transportation. I became so engrossed in this book while reading on the train that I missed my station by three stops last night.
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Format: Hardcover
Any development professional working with individual donors should read this book. I've already ordered copies for my staff! Understanding the mind of the donor and why they give is critical and this is the first book I've seen that addresses this in a way that is actually interesting and readable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is full of ideas for matching yourself to the charity that makes your giving truly come from your beliefs and concerns, and how to give so that the money really addresses the needs. For instance he says that sending a small check, like $25, is a waste of time because most of your gift goes to processing the check.
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