This month, my blog posts will look at philanthropy — giving back. I got to thinking about this when I was reading one of my shelf books.* The book was A path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity by Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. I don’t necessarily agree with everything they wrote, but they did raise interesting questions. Hopefully, thinking about these questions will help you as you plan your own philanthropy. Of course, these questions are in addition to questions about whether you support the goals and ethics of an organization. In the coming weeks, we’ll look at the forms that philanthropy can take. But first, let’s look at the bigger questions:
The book certainly made me think differently about how I evaluate possible recipients of my philanthropy. I am far too likely to look at percent of money to programs without digging more deeply into effectiveness and building capacity. It will require more effort, but that’s a step I will need to take.
*Shelf books are books that I have owned way too long without reading. Every year, I fill a shelf with these books and commit to reading them and passing them along before the year ends.