Off the Shelf

Hoping to Help: The Promises and Pitfalls of Global Health Volunteering

Hoping to Help: The Promises and Pitfalls of Global Health Volunteering

May 11, 2016
Judith N. Lasker (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2016)

Judith N. Lasker examines the landscape of short-term volunteer trips; the benefits and drawbacks of such activity from the perspective of the sponsoring organizations, the volunteers, and the host communities; and what can be done to make such activity more effective, particularly for the latter....

American Generosity: Who Gives and Why

American Generosity: Who Gives and Why

May 6, 2016
Patricia Snell Herzog and Heather E. Price (New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2016)

Mirielle Clifford reviews Patricia Snell Herzog and Heather E. Price's in-depth examination of how social factors and regional characteristics influence and drive American generosity....

Social Movements for Good: How Companies and Causes Create Viral Change

Social Movements for Good: How Companies and Causes Create Viral Change

April 21, 2016
Derrick Feldmann (Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley, 2016)

CECP's Jennifer Chen reviews Derrick Feldman's guide to the nuts and bolts of movement building, including an analysis of how social movements for good differ from traditional social movements in their end goals and messaging vehicles....

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World

March 18, 2016
Steven Radelet (New York, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2015)

Radelet, who chairs the Global Human Development Program at Georgetown University, argues that the end of the Cold War ushered in an era of unprecedented development progress across much of Africa, Asia, and Latin America....

Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works

Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works

February 16, 2016
Roger L. Martin and Sally Osberg (Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review Press, 2015)

Business strategist Roger L. Martin and Skoll Foundation president and CEO Sally R. Osberg provide an overview of social entrepreneurship and share the stories of several social entrepreneurs who have changed — and are changing — the world for the better....

Charity Detox: What Charity Would Look Like If We Cared About Results

Charity Detox: What Charity Would Look Like If We Cared About Results

February 3, 2016
Robert D. Lupton (San Francisco, California: HarperOne, 2015)

In his new book, the founder of Atlanta-based FCS Urban Ministries and the author of the 2011 book Toxic Charity challenges social entrepreneurs and funders to rethink what they know about charity work....

The Self-Help Myth: How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty

The Self-Help Myth: How Philanthropy Fails to Alleviate Poverty

January 13, 2016
Erica Kohl-Arenas (Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2015)

According to author Erica Kohl-Arenas, the limitations of the "self-help approach to poverty alleviation" raises troubling questions about the ability of private philanthropy to improve the lives of the people it claims to serve....

No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy

No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy

December 15, 2015
Linsey McGoey (New York, New York: Verso, 2015)

Linsey McGoey, senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Essex, argues that the billionaire-knows-best style of philanthropy is as paternalistic as it is ineffective, and the simple truth of that observation is as lost on today's philanthropists as it was on Carnegie and Rockefeller....

The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?

The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?

November 30, 2015
Dale Russakoff (Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)

Dale Russakoff's riveting account of how a $100 million pledge from Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg aimed at turning around the public school system in Newark, New Jersey, went very wrong, very quickly is a cautionary tale for reform advocates and philanthropists....

Systems Thinking for Social Change

Systems Thinking for Social Change

October 9, 2015
David Peter Stroh (White River Junction, Vermont: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2015)

Questioning the unhelpful modes of thinking that perpetuate chronic social problems is at the heart of David Peter Stroh's book, writes the Foundation Center's Mirielle Clifford....

Compassionate Careers: Making a Living by Making a Difference

Compassionate Careers: Making a Living by Making a Difference

August 21, 2015
Alexandra Mitchell, Jeffrey W. Pryor (Pompton Plains, New Jersey: Career Press, 2015)

Foundation Center's Grace Sato finds that the book not only offers stories of inspiration, passion, and serendipity but also makes a case for why a career in the nonprofit sector makes practical sense....