Despite being an expert in analyzing markets, being a kind philanthropist is different from the investment world. In fact, the humanitarian world is where your emotional passions will conflict with the efforts to impact with your money and time.

4 Books to Help You Get Started in Your Philanthropic Journey

1. The Ethics of Giving by Paul Woodruff

To start your philanthropic journey, you should first ask yourself, “why do I want to give?” To get an answer to this question, this book can help you figure that out. This compilation of philosophic essays is broken down into easy to read sections that get into detail about perspectives such as Kantian ethics, intuitionism, and utilitarianism.

Although this book will leave you with more questions than the answers you seek, it will bring more awareness to the emotions behind your actions. Woodruff’s book also covers effective altruism in detail.

2. The Business of Changing the World by Raj Kumar

In this book, Kumar details the changes in modern technology that have created new ways to measure the effectiveness of charitable organizations. These metrics have also helped in the transformation of the global humanitarian industry. He looks at how wealthy tech entrepreneurs like Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Bezos, Laura, and John Arnold, and Mark Zuckerberg have infused giving with digital strategies.

In this book, Raj talks about:

• How ordinary people are making small donations and seeing themselves as buyers.

• How some lesser-known philanthropic models like social companies have incorporated a social mission in their business models.

3. Giving Done Right by Phil Buchanan

In his book, Buchanan adopts a more traditional approach and uses tips that he learned as president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. He combines both personal anecdotes and real-life examples with tips that may seem obvious and counterintuitive.

4. Seismic Philanthropy by Ben Klasky

While working with Giving Compass and the Gates Foundation, Klasky designed this 56-page booklet, which is also the name of his firm that majors in the philanthropic advisory. You can read this book in just one sitting and learn some actionable philanthropy pointers.

Klasky offers practical advice using cheesy metaphors like “don’t get into the practice of peanut butter philanthropy.” This means the practice of spreading your gifts thinly across several issues. Instead, he recommends that you take on an issue that is meaningful to you and go deeper. Klasky also points out one of the significant pitfalls whereby donors create rules that limit the number of years they can support nonprofit organizations.