Give Smart

Posted on March 29, 2011

Thomas J. Tierney a co-founder of The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit focused on helping donors and nonprofits to maximize their impact has published a book called Give Smart.  In the book, distills ten years of Bridespan’s experience, knowledge, and case studies with philanthropy expert Joel L. Fleishman’s research and insights to create a much-needed primer for philanthropists and the nonprofit organizations they support.  They explain that philanthropy is personal and situational and that there is no magic formula for one’s philanthropy work; the path to results is through wrestling with the right questions at the right time.  Give Smart asks six challenging questions to guide donors through the process:

What are my values and beliefs?

What is “success” and how can it be achieved?

What am I accountable for?

What will it take to get the job done?

How do I work with grantees?

Am I getting better?

These question are ones that we often discuss when working with students on Mitzvah Projects and in our teen philanthropy programs.

In conjunction with the book, The Bridgespan Group has launched, a website designed to help philanthropists make better decisions and get better results from their giving.  The website shares effective practices, including case studies, how-to-guides, and other decision-making tools, as well as contribution from Bridgespan, informed by its 10 years of collaboration with philanthropists and foundations, and outstanding leaders in the field including the center for Effective philanthropy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, the National Center for Family philanthropy, The Philanthropic Initiative and the philanthropy Roundtable, among others.

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