Off the Shelf

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....

In Defense of a Liberal Education

In Defense of a Liberal Education

August 11, 2015
Fareed Zakaria (New York, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2015)

Our reviewer, Michael Weston-Murphy, says Zakaria's book serves as a reminder of the importance of knowledge for the sake of knowledge in the increasingly globalized world of the twenty-first century....

Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology

Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology

June 29, 2015
Kentaro Toyama (New York, New York: PublicAffairs, 2015)

If you're looking for an anti-technology manifesto, look elsewhere, says our reviewer, Kyoko Uchida; Geek Heresy presents a nuanced argument for a human-centric approach to development work that leverages, rather than relies on, technology to create social change....