Acclaimed book about great giving

It Ain’t What You Give, It’s The Way That You Give It

Introductory discount! £12.99 (+ P&P. This is for the UK: for RoW, see below.)

‘The Freakonomics of the charity world – with better cartoons’  Martin Houghton-Brown, CEO, Missing People

Ben Goldacre: “You’ve been waiting for this: Evidence-based charitable giving by @carolinefiennes”

This donor handbook is brilliant” – The Economist*

Great advice: inspiring, entertaining and much-needed’ – James Caan, Dragons’ Den panellist

‘A unique and very clear guide to a very complex topic, with insight for any donor’ – The Body Shop

Caroline Fiennes explains how to balance heart and mind for serious philanthropy. She emphasises with clarity the importance of evidence and economics for to maximise good deads per dollar‘ – Simon Singh, science writer

Whether you’re giving your own money, or raising money, and whether you’re giving a lot or a little, this delightful guide is essential.’  – Sir Ranulph Fiennes, explorer, the UK’s top celebrity fundraiser

‘Many have eloquently described the peculiar challenges of nonprofit assessment, perhaps none so eloquently as Caroline Fiennes in an excellent chapter of her excellent book’ – Phil Buchanan, Director, US Center for Effective Philanthropy

Increasingly people see parallels between charity and business, so it’s refreshing and valuable that Caroline brings perspectives from elsewhere, including medicine, the military, politics, physics, history, genetics and psychology. A great read: any donor should read it and heed it.’ – Isabel Kelly, Int’l Director, Foundation

More reviews here.

What’s in this book? Table of contents.

It Ain’t What You Give, It’s The Way That You Give It is a guide to charitable giving – explaining how charities work, and giving advice about how best you can work with them to improve the world. It’s “exclusively for everyone” – relevant to you, your children, your hedge-fund-manager friend, big foundations, and corporate giving.

It includes advice on common situations:  how to choose a charity to put in your Will; whether to give anonymously, what is an intelligent response to a ‘chugger’ in the street, to being asked for sponsorship, to a request from your school or university.

It’s worth the effort: some charities achieve 25 times more with your money than others, and some ways of giving achieve 7 or 11 or 20 times as much with your donations. Using masses of examples and quirky stories, the book explains:

What you need to know about charities. For example: why are there so many of them, what they do in relation to government, the various ways that they improve the world, and how to understand their impact.

What you need to do. How to:

–          Find a good charity

–          Help it

–          Avoid hindering it

What to do if you’re giving a lot / as a family / in your company / as a foundation. For example, how to choose a focus area, how to get organised, the team you need, how to find a partner, how to track whether you’re being successful over time, and how to involve your colleagues.

The calculations in the book are detailed here.

This is the Application form given in the book, which can be used by any donor.

For orders in Europe (excl. UK):

For orders outside Europe:


Body Shop International: “Caroline’s insight into a very complex topic provides a clear understanding to not only the complexities of charitable giving, but also a guide as to the impact of the donation. Donations are made to make a difference, they are a personal choice and often very generous,  but there is not always an understanding of the impact or lack of impact they may have. This book provides a very clear guide for any donor, from the novice to major corporate institutions. It’s unique to find this level of information in one place, and will create pause for thought for many people.” 

*Why the quirky price? It’s a nod to the Charitable Uses Act of 1601, which forms the basis of much charitable law in the UK and around the world.

*The Economist’s statement: “Whether billionaire or volunteer, this donor handbook is a brilliant crammer for anyone new to the world of charitable giving. Fiennes’ physics background has led her to an approach to giving that takes nothing for granted, demanding hard evidence and proof. It has been dubbed the ‘Freakonomics of charitable giving’ and Fiennes’ data-devoted view certainly gives a new perspective on how best to give effectively”, from a private document for HNWI donors.

Which bank is running one of the worst giving programmes we’ve ever seen? –>

10 Responses to Acclaimed book about great giving

  1. Pingback: Should You Donate to Sport Relief? | Giving Evidence

  2. jeffmowatt says:

    An interesting recent find was What To Do, by Leo Tolstoy where at the time of the 1882 Moscow census, he advocates giving our labour to the poor rather than money:

  3. jeffmowatt says:

    Here’s something I found recently advocating giving labour to the poor rather than money. I comes from Leo Tolstoy around the time of the 1882 Moscow census:

  4. Pingback: It Ain’t What You Give, It’s the Way That You Give It: Q & A with Caroline Fiennes « High Impact Philanthropy

  5. Pingback: Faster, higher, stronger: Olympic lessons for philanthropy | Latest from Alliance

  6. Pingback: sitawi recomenda – “Não é o que você doa, mas sim como você doa” | sitawi

  7. Pingback: SITAWI recomenda – "Não é o que você doa, mas sim como você doa" - SITAWI Finanças do Bem

  8. Pingback: Books of the Year – Philanthrocapitalism

  9. Pingback: Interview with Caroline Fiennes about opportunities in effective philanthropy - 80,000 Hours

  10. Pingback: SITAWI recomenda – "Não é o que você doa, mas sim como você doa" - Sitawi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s