Five Great Books On Philanthropy

Everyone is familiar with the saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” In an age where people are continually clamoring for ever more for themselves, this might be one of the most essential maxims to return to. Here are some notable books on the subject designed to give examples, laud, and inspire one towards philanthropy:

Philanthropy A Collection of Poetry and Prose

This debut work by Raya Mae, writing under the pseudonym of Altruistic, is not a how-to guide or a history of philanthropy, but rather a more artistic endeavor that combines story, poetry, and prose into a package that touches the soul. It is a must-read for those interested in philanthropy and a worthwhile read for anyone looking for a deep, reflective work of art.

Charity and Philanthropy for Dummies by Karl T. Muth, Michael T.S. Lindenmayer, John Kluge

For those who have always wanted to make a difference but are unsure of where or how to start, this book serves as an excellent guide. While philanthropy is often thought of as financial donation to charitable organizations, this book also contains information on how to donate time and talents to various causes.

American Philanthropy by Robert H. Bremner

This is an excellent book to bring readers up to speed on the history of philanthropy in America. It is informative without being overly encyclopedic and covers a wide range of individuals and their donations. While it does not detail all philanthropic contributions and organizations, it is readable and serves as a good primer on the topic.

The Generosity Network by Jennifer McCrea, Jeffrey C. Walker, Karl Weber

This is a bountiful resource for those looking to do fundraising. It challenges many commonly held ideas concerning how to campaign for donations and offers creative, fun, and highly successful alternatives. Most notably, it describes how the traditional tactic of “selling” a particular charity produces only limited results and how focusing on the dreams of the potential donor unlocks inspired giving.

Imagining Abundance: Fundraising, Philanthropy, and a Spiritual Call to Service by Kerry Alys Robinson

Geared toward the spiritual aspects of philanthropy, Robinson does an admirable job of tying faith with giving. Without sounding preachy or greedy, the book examines how spiritual growth can be fostered through generosity.

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