In 2007, former United States President Bill Clinton published Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World to give us a mandate for how to think about our charitable giving and how to make sure that we, every day people, contribute to big impacts.
If you’d like, watch this 15 minute interview with Clinton about the book which gives a quick summary of the highlights.
Clinton writes about folks from Paul Farmer to your neighbor and highlights how everyone can make a difference with their time, money, expertise, and energy. It is a simple guide to making thoughtful decisions about your own contributions and can be an even more useful guide for organizations that seek out donations.
I liked that this book made giving in every sense something that seems achievable and doable. He encourages us to start now even if we have limited time, money, or skills to contribute for it is our collective actions that will spur great change.
Is this book worth reading? If you work for a non-profit on the fundraising team, yes! For others, it does read as a promotional book for Clinton, the Clinton foundation, and a few of his other friends. If you want a series of feel-good vignettes, read on! I read this around the time that I read With Charity for All: The Terrible Truth of Charitable Failure which, in combination, gives a balanced perspective on the need for wise decision making and prudence in giving.