Do More Than Give is about how high-impact donors catalyze change in the world. While it’s a book about philanthropy, the authors don’t focus on how to give away money. Donating is an important starting point but not the end point.
More than $300 billion in the U.S. alone is donated annually to nonprofits, and the number of private foundations has doubled in the last two decades as community foundation numbers have tripled. But experts question whether the billions backed by good intentions have made the most possible difference or effectively solved problems. If donors want to achieve more, they need to do more than give.
Written by FSG leaders Leslie Crutchfield, John Kania, and Mark Kramer (all with extensive backgrounds in philanthropy), Do More Than Give shows how a distinct type of donor helps solve pressing social and environmental problems by going beyond traditional philanthropy. The authors studied a diverse mix of high-impact funders. These inspirational donors’ stories range from the world’s largest private foundations and corporations to families, to community and place-based foundations. While the sizes of their assets vary, these donors still share a critical trait: They each go beyond simply giving money away to proactively solve significant social problems.
How did the Jacobs family transform a former brown-field into a thriving commercial and cultural center for low-income Southeast San Diego residents? Why is the London-based Shell Foundation investing hundreds of millions to help a Nigerian farmer sell chicken feed, or to help other African entrepreneurs grow their for-profit businesses? How did groups of private, community and corporate foundations collaborate with nonprofit, government and school leaders in Ohio to build The Strive Partnership, a network that has raised public school graduation rates and student math and reading scores in Cincinnati’s struggling urban core?
The answers are revealed in Do More Than Give through six core practices of donors that form the central organizing framework for the book. The first step toward catalytic philanthropy is for donors to choose one or a few problems or causes to concentrate on. Then they are able to marshal all of their resources—including their political, business, social and family connections, as well as their know-how, discipline, drive, and other non-financial assets—and apply them to advancing those causes.
Research for this book was inspired by the best practices articulated in the previous work, Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant (Wiley 2008). Forces for Good was recognized by The Economist on its annual Best Books of the Year list, and praised by Good to Great author Jim Collins as a book “…that changes the way the world works by changing how leaders think.” Combining the Forces for Good framework with FSG’s principles of catalytic philanthropy, the authors of Do More Than Give demonstrate how high-impact donors catalyze significant change.