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Giving Back: Discover your values and put them into action through volunteering and donating Paperback – August 11, 2012
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
About the Author
Steven Ketchpel, Ph.D., studied computer science at Harvard University and Stanford University, culminating in a Ph.D. from Stanford in 1998. His research work led to sixteen publications in the areas of e-commerce, software agents, digital libraries, and user experience. He cofounded web customer experience management company Vividence in 1998, working in various technical leadership, development, and research capacities until its acquisition by Keynote Systems in 2004. He returned to Stanford as a visiting scholar in the Reuters Digital Vision Program, collaborating for a year with the Grameen Foundation’s Technology Center on the development of the Mifos system of open-source software for microfinance. Since 2005, he has continued to work with small technology firms, helping with data analysis, product definition, and R&D. A self-funded sabbatical during 2011 made possible the writing of Giving Back, his first book. The material for Giving Back comes from Dr. Ketchpel’s experience in working with and volunteering for nonprofit organizations. His first volunteer experiences were part of his years growing up in Connecticut, where he was active in Boy Scouts and the Order of the Arrow (a Scouting service organization), as well as in a Congregationalist UCC church. Applying the entrepreneurial insights of leverage and scale led him to focus on empowering others, and conversations with supporters of United Campus Christian Ministry @ Stanford (where Dr. Ketchpel was a director and fund-development committee chair) showed the impact that giving back had in people’s understanding of meaning in their lives. The inspiration for Giving Back is to encourage more people to find and pursue the passions that simultaneously enhance life’s meaning, strengthen family bonds, and make the world a better place. Dr. Ketchpel lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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I particularly liked that this book had an analytical approach, balanced by some compelling stories. It's not a high-level "touchy-feely" overview on giving - it's a highly actionable guide that I think is well-suited for people who like to get things done and have an impact.
Giving Back charts a course of action for individuals and families. It leads by displaying examples with conversational exercises, the twenty nickel exercise - which I personally found very helpful and the giving notebook which allows you to see and list your passions and priorities.
Each chapter is educational and thorough. It is mixed with true stories of how individuals charted their own path in helping others with their own skills, time and gifts. Giving Back covers the entire spectrum of volunteerism and donation based gifts.
This book personally inspired me in taking that first step in a hands on volunteering experience and allowed me to see my priorities and set my strategy accordingly.
This book is also filled with links that will help you set your own priorities and find your niche. Once you have finished reading this book all of your questions will have been answered. Mr. Ketchpel covers in detail everything you need to know about volunteering.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and spent many of my evening walks with my wife and son thinking about and discussing the thoughts and insights presented in this book (we have a young son and take many walks introducing him to nature). I want my son to grow up appreciating his privileged life and help people along the way. At the same time, we want to be smart about putting our time and money into the most impactful and sincere 'giving back' efforts out there.
Bottomline: when I try to help the world, I want the world to get the best bang out of my buck. Giving Back is an invaluable guide in my effort.
My family and I have been involved with helping others in small ways ever since we were kids. Many of the thoughts Steve has catalogued have occurred to me at one time or the other. But to come across a book where a (brilliant) author analyzes the whole experience of giving to others, and creates a set of point-on, commonsense questions to help you choose how to give back is amazing.
Giving Back is really useful for parents who want to teach their kids the value of thinking and caring for others. Have a teen? Or a 7 year old? Do not worry - this book has age-specific suggestions on how to approach and discuss doing good with your kids along with real world examples.