Helping People to Help Themselves

By: Michael E. Hartmann
Published: Jan 2005
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Americans donate tens of billions of dollars a year to relieve suffering. Yet the very size and complexity of these efforts can be daunting. Donors who want to ensure their aid is as effective as possible want to find and support the best poverty-fighting programs, but finding the best can be difficult.

This guidebook is not exhaustive in detailing all that is being done, but it does sketch out several critical, overarching principles that donors should bear in mind, and it also highlights some of the best work addressed to particular challenges, such as health care, worker training, substance abuse, and access to college.

The Philanthropy Roundtable is committed to helping donors effectively aid the poor. The subject often sparks controversy, but we are dedicated to whatever works. We place a special emphasis on advancing the freedom and dignity of the poor, expanding economic and educational opportunities for the poor, and reinforcing personal responsibility among all Americans.