12 Websites & Books on Charitable Giving for 2012: Part Two

Here’s part two of our list of our 12 favorite giving resources from the past year. Missed part one? Read about the first six books and websites on charitable giving for 2012.

Kansas City-raised author Gretchen Rubin took a year off to explore ways to be happier. While writing her book, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle and Generally Have More Fun, she learned a simple truth: “Do good, feel good.” Rubin sites a study that shows wealth to be one of the positive results of charitable giving: “Charitable giving actually causes higher income” due, in part, to the “positive brain stimulation caused by charitable giving.” 12 Books and Websites about Giving for 2012

Giving charitably can be difficult to do well. So, how can you be sure your charitable gifts are making the impact you intend? Jeffrey Solomon, who along with Charles Bronfman, authored The Art of Giving, Where the Soul Meets a Business Plan, recommends merging charitable dreams with a solid business plan as the formula for successful philanthropy. Solomon says that philanthropic people today are driven by their passions, their souls, but expect a business-like approach to problem solving. The “heart and the head have come together,” he says, in charitable giving.

In Kathy LeMay’s The Generosity Plan, she suggests going back to your giving roots as you think about setting your vision and priorities. “What do you remember about giving in your family?” she asks. “Who did you see volunteering or helping out?” Those traditions help inform the giving that you do today, she says. Her steps to creating a plan include: setting your charitable vision and priorities; selecting charities; and creating a formula for how much you can give.

Extraordinary stories of generous donors from Bolder Giving (boldergiving.org) helped inspire the billionaire Giving Pledge. The website features people who have given incredible amounts to charity. Founders Christopher and Anne Ellinger, who are themselves Bold Givers, were inspired to start Bolder Giving after Christopher received an unexpected inheritance at 21. Bolder Giving promotes three ways to give bolder: give more, risk more and inspire more. “Most people rarely talk about their giving. We support people to step out, start conversations, and to inspire others about the joy of giving.”

Nancy Lublin may bill herself as the Chief Old Person, but there’s nothing old about the way she’s led Do Something.org to activate almost 2 million young people as volunteers. Their website is designed to inspire the 25-and-under crowd to become a generation of doers, who think community service is really cool and as normal as watching TV. Do Something.org is a great resource to inspire younger family members to get involved in charitable giving and volunteering, by using the power of online to get them to “do good stuff offline.”

Crowdrise (crowdrise.com) is another hot charitable giving website, and its creator was named a 25 Best Giver by Barron’s. Started by actor Edward Norton and three partners two years ago, the Crowdrise slogan is, “If You Don’t Give Back No One Will Like You.” The site marries charitable giving with technology and offers a platform to create viral fundraising campaigns using your own social networks. “Crowdrise is about giving back, raising tons of money for charity and having the most fun in the world while doing it.”

With these charitable giving websites and books, 2012 is sure to be a successful year. Keep coming back to the Giving Better Blog as we continue to discover and share new ideas to help you give better. 

Greater Horizons Giving Vice President Debbie Starke


Authored by: Debbie Starke, Vice President