If you have a passion for helping people or are looking for a way to gain a greater purpose in life, devoting time to philanthropy or charity is a guaranteed way to find a special kind of fulfillment.

Those who first attempt to get involved with philanthropy are sometimes daunted by what has evolved into a complex industry. At any rate, knowledge is power. Fortunately, there are some excellent books that can illuminate the mind and give you a deeper understanding of how philanthropy works today.

Here are some top suggestions:

Half Time

Successful entrepreneur and venture philanthropist Bob Burford died in 2018, but he left behind one of the classics in the philanthropy genre. Half Time is for people who want to spend “the second half” of their lives giving back to others. It offers superb strategies on how to get it done successfully. Buford also authored Finishing Well.

From Success to Significance

This book, written by Lloyd Reeb, is subtitled: “When the Pursuit of Success Isn’t Enough.” This book is actually a work of fiction. The novel shows how people can redefine what it means to be financially successful so that their lives gain deeper meaning.

Giving Done Right

This book is subtitled: “Effective Philanthropy and Making Every Dollar Count.” It’s a great book for people who want to make sure the money they give is not absorbed by bureaucracy, red tape or other inefficiencies within an organization. The book gives excellent and specific examples of how to be an excellent philanthropist. Written by Phil Buchanan.

Kisses from Katie

The story of Katie Davis Majors. Originally from Nashville, she traveled to Uganda at age 18 and it changed her life. She eventually adopted 13 Ugandan children. She founded a school in Jinja and led the development of many other programs for Ugandan disadvantaged people. It’s a marvelously inspirational read.

Start Something That Matters

Blake Mycoskie is the founder of the successful Toms Shoes brand. This is a good book for those who want to realize their entrepreneurial and financial dreams while also underpinning success by giving back to good causes at the same time.

Winner Takes All

Author Anand Giridharadas has a critical take on how the wealthy elite of the world attempt to solve problems with their money but often end up making things worse. The author provides a better way to implement a philanthropic strategy.