Strategies for Giving


“Gain, Save, Give” by John Wesley
In his 1744 sermon, “The Use of Money,” John Wesley, clergyman and founder of Methodism, gives three “plain rules” for the stewardship of wealth. The excerpt provided through the link above highlights Wesley’s key points.

Random Reminiscences of Men and Events by John D. Rockefeller
America’s original grand philanthropist outlines his vision for improving society through benevolent gifts in the last two chapters of his book—“The Difficult Art of Giving” and “The Benevolent Trust.” Read an excerpt from “The Difficult Art of Giving,” where Rockefeller discusses principles of the “best philanthropy.”

“The Best Fields for Philanthropy” and “The Gospel of Wealth” by Andrew Carnegie
Carnegie’s oft-cited essay “The Gospel of Wealth” contains an impassioned plea to the wealthy to give their money away while they are still able to guide its use, and in “The Best Fields for Philanthropy” he opines on specific areas where public good could be done. For further commentary on Carnegie’s insights, read this analysis by James Otteson. For a look at how his foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, is doing at preserving its founder’s intent today, read Leslie Lenkowsky’s feature piece for Philanthropy magazine.

The Intelligent Donor’s Guide to College Giving by Anne Neal and Michael B. Poliakoff
For donors who want to support colleges and universities, the second edition of this short book is a clearly written guide that will help you make sure you get what you pay for. Step-by-step strategies for avoiding common mistakes, plus lots of case histories of college giving done well.

Money Well Spent by Paul Brest and Hal Harvey
A leading advocate of “strategic,” “measured,” “transformational” philanthropy offers suggestions on how to organize one’s giving so as to improve your chances of having prominent effects. Read Matthew Bishop and Michael Green’s review in Philanthropymagazine.

Give Smart by Thomas J. Tierney and Joel L. Fleishman
Six big questions that should guide donors who want to get results—topics like “What are my values and beliefs?” and “What is ‘success’ and how can it be achieved?” Read Adam Meyerson’s discussion of the work in Philanthropy.

What Your Money Means by Frank Hanna
A contemporary donor offers guidance on why you have money, what your money calls you to be, how to shield yourself and your loved ones from the dangers inherent in wealth, and how, if philanthropy is your calling, to give wisely. Read George Weigel’s review of the book for Philanthropy.