Pursuing Philanthropy Like a Business


Good to Great and the Social Sectors by Jim Collins
A short book by the prominent management consultant in which he applies to philanthropy many of his discoveries on the factors that allow companies to perform at a high level.

Philanthrocapitalism by Matthew Bishop & Michael Green
This 2009 book examines the “venture investing” movement, which combines for-profit techniques with nonprofit goals. It includes interviews with a host of wealthy, motivated investors like Bill Gates, Ted Turner, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, and others.

"Madison Avenue Mercies" by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
The virtues of advertising, overhead, and other wicked ways of doing good.

"Business Marries Charity!" by Howard Husock
The hopes and hazards of bringing market mechanisms to philanthropy.

"Giving Made Easy" by Joanne Florino
Donor-advised funds are bringing new convenience to philanthropy.

"Stronger Together" by Evan Sparks
Donors are increasingly using expert intermediaries to bundle and target their giving.

"Alms Alchemy" by Liz Essley Whyte
The National Christian Foundation’s ability to turn unusual contributions to gold is creating a new trove of generosity. 

“Catalytic Philanthropy” by Mark Kramer
Rather than leaving all responsibility for finding and implementing solutions to social problems to charitable organizations, ambitious donors can set in motion their own solutions.

“Virtuous Capital: What Foundations Can Learn from Venture Capitalists” by Christine W. Letts, William Ryan, and Allen Grossman
This short article from the Harvard Business Review argued that funders should not only write checks to non-profits but help them develop their organizational capacity—as venture capitalists do for small businesses.