Amazon.com Exclusive: Q&A with Author Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen
Philanthropy means giving anything—time, money, experience, skills, or networks—in any amount to create a better world. The word comes from the Greek philanthropus—"love of humankind"—which actually makes no mention of money. Anyone with generosity of mind and spirit can take action and be a philanthropist.
What is Giving 2.0?
Giving 2.0 introduces everyone to new ways of thinking about giving. Rather than passively reacting and writing checks, it means embracing a state of constant learning, improvement, and innovation. Too often, we fail to support our giving with planning or research into the issues, organizations, or strategies that have the greatest impact. This means we unintentionally waste resources and miss learning opportunities, ultimately at the expense of those we’re trying to help.
With today's problems that demand increasingly complex solutions and philanthropic resources that are tightly stretched, we need to do more with less. We need to harness our minds as well as our hearts to innovate, learn, pool resources, collaborate, and rigorously measure our philanthropic actions. Only then will we bring about significant change in our world.
Who is this book for?
Giving 2.0 is for everyone—regardless of age, income, profession, religion, or background— who wants to help transform our world. As a resource, it will educate and inspire those who want to start giving. And for those already giving—whether they are donating a few hundred dollars a year or a few hundred thousand, or volunteering time or expertise—this book will help anyone take his or her giving from reactive to proactive and momentarily gratifying to consistently meaningful.
How did you start your own giving journey?
My giving journey has been guided by the actions, service, and values of my parents. My late mother, Frances Arrillaga, and my father, John Arrillaga Sr., are my philanthropic heroes—they inspired me to devote my life to philanthropy.
After losing my mother to cancer, I looked for an organization that would educate and empower me to be an effective philanthropist. I longed for a community of givers with whom to share ideas and compare stories. When I could not find one, I created SV2 (Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund), a giving circle that brings together philanthropists to learn how to give more effectively. It pools funds while helping members develop knowledge about issues, collaborate on grantmaking, and use their expertise and networks to help innovative early-stage nonprofits to expand.
I have also taught "Strategic Philanthropy" at Stanford Graduate School of Business since 2000 and founded Stanford PACS (Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society). I’ve worked to help philanthropists navigate the complexities of giving by designing organizations, networks, and resources to educate and inspire anyone who wants to give more effectively. Giving 2.0 is an important part of those efforts, all of which stem from the same powerful message—you don’t need to donate huge dollars to make a huge impact.
—Melinda Gates, cochair and trustee, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“Giving 2.0 is a real gift to anybody committed to using his or her life, resources, and energies to make the world a better place. I've been involved in philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, and fundraising for over 20 years, and this is without a doubt the most comprehensive and accessible guide to smart philanthropy that I have ever encountered. It's both an inspiring call for a culture of giving and an excellent, indeed essential manual of practical steps people can take to maximize their positive impact on the world.”
-Edward Norton, actor and cofounder, Crowdrise
“Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen is a brilliant storyteller who has the rare gift of animating both the heart and mind of philanthropy. A compelling read, Giving 2.0 draws richly on the credibility of her personal journey as well as her broad academic expertise. It is brimming with persuasive evidence and practical resources for all types of philanthropists, from those just beginning to those with significant experience looking to more effectively evaluate their progress and enhance their efforts. Giving 2.0 is a must-read for anyone eager to change the world.”
—Judith Rodin, president, Rockefeller Foundation
“Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen shows us the power of new thinking around philanthropy and inspires readers to make a difference. Giving 2.0 is an important book—one that will empower a new generation of philanthropists and make the world a better place.”
—Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com, and author, Behind the Cloud
“Giving 2.0 redefines philanthropy, revealing through compelling stories that charity is not just about donating money. This powerful book will inspire you to use your time, expertise and voice to have an enduring impact. Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen shows us that everybody can help to change the world.”
—Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
“A highly engaging book, written by a national leader in philanthropy, Giving 2.0 is a must-have resource for present and future donors at any level. Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen beautifully captures the most important principles for giving with your hands, your heart, and your head. Her compelling personal stories, as well as inspiring examples of effective donors of all ages and incomes, provide practical and inspirational insights, ideas, and innovations that underlie the art of giving well.”
—John Hennessy, president, Stanford University
“At last! This terrific book cuts through the jargon to demystify philanthropy, proving what's possible when givers put their hearts and minds to issues that really matter. Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen's profiles in great giving are beautifully rendered, her insights fresh and compelling, and her practical how-tos pitch perfect. Giving 2.0 should become the indispensable guide for everyone who's ready to make the most of what they have to give!”
—Sally Osberg, president and CEO, Skoll Foundation
“Through vignettes of individual and family philanthropists, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, a great philanthropist and leader in her own right, captures both the passion and the tough analysis and decision-making necessary to turn that passion into results. In a highly engaging style, she covers the value of having clear goals for one's own philanthropy; the importance of supporting an organization's real needs, even for quotidian back office functions; and how to undertake appropriate due diligence and evaluation. Giving 2.0 offers a bounty of valuable information for donors of all levels.”
—Paul Brest, president, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and coauthor, Money Well Spent
“Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen has made a great contribution to the philanthropy of this country, combining personal experience and passion with professional insight to create a deeply valuable resource that will help families throughout their philanthropic journeys. Giving 2.0 is a book that provides rich stories, inspiration, and information relevant to all as they continue to give generously of both time and money.”
—Carol Larson, president and CEO, Packard Foundation
“Giving 2.0 opens the door to a new era of philanthropy in which everyone, at every giving level, can combine new and innovative approaches with the power of the Internet to achieve positive social impact and personal joy, whether by helping their neighbors next door or across the world. It offers a rare perspective from one of philanthropy's most thoughtful leaders that makes it essential reading for anyone who wants to make giving a meaningful part of his or her life.”
—Leslie Crutchfield and Mark Kramer, coauthors, Do More Than Give
“Research shows that happiness comes from spending time connecting with others, not just having or spending money. Giving 2.0 shows how connected the world is, and how to determine the role you'd like to play in changing the world. Whether donating time, money, skill, or voice, Giving 2.0 can show you how to gain greater happiness and fulfillment from your efforts.”
—Jennifer Aaker, coauthor, The Dragonfly Effect, and professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business