Book reviews and comments

It Ain’t What You Give, It’s The Way That You Give It has attracted many – and exclusively positive – reviews and comments. Here are a selection: reviews first, then comments:


The Guardian: “Fiennes’ style is informal and the ideas are well illustrated with diagrams and cartoons. She dissects many of our popular intuitions about giving. This book is empowering … think Kirstie Allsopp or Alvin Hall, rather than Gillian McKeith.”

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

Spears Wealth Management: “the indispensable guide … dispels the fog … no-nonsense … exactly the guide that donors need … refreshingly rigorous … long overdue”

Church Times: “an invaluable resource … takes the reader step by step…so that our donation has maximum impact”

Center for Effective Philanthropy: “among the best … refreshing in its specificity … relentlessly logical … fresh and forceful … an important contribution”

Alliance Magazine / Institute of Philanthropy : “thank goodness … engaging, informative, irreverent … compelling evidence and logic… Well done, Ms Fiennes”

Society of Biology: “provides great advice…Through case studies and user friendly diagrams and statistics you’re able to understand the best approach…The ideas in this book and its analytical approach have inspired me, and I would recommend the book to anyone involved in fundraising, sponsorship or funding applications.”

Stephen Lloyd, UK’s top charity lawyer: “I would strongly recommend that donors and the  charitable foundations should read this book and absorb its lessons” (p10)

Philanthropy UK: “huge amounts of insights into the nature of charities and how donors can best support them to improve the world. For donors – big or small – this is  money well spent”

Intelligent Life: “A good deal of this sharp study overturns expectations. “I’ll show you how to waste your entire donation,” she writes, frankly. The book even has a good word for Goldman Sachs” 

Giving What We Can: “… a wealth of great advice… clear, succinct, robust … compact and accessible…”

The Big Society Network: “Replete with good advice… enriched my understanding… a useful, helpful book… Buy it now – I recommend it!”

Sitawi (Brazilian social investment network): “Recomendo”!

Whitebarn Consulting: “inspiring, engaging and very useful… different and refreshing… excellent and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone.  Cocky and quirky in equal measure, it is a must-read

Reuters: “Fiennes is not one to pull her punches” 

Amazon reviews are here and here and here.

Comments Many people write with their comments. They include:

Senior business person, lent the book by a foundation CEO: “… really helpful and insightful… I’ve been wanting to rethink how I give for some time and the book has some good practical advice.” (followed by a long list of changes he’s making as a result).

David Emerson, Chief Executive of the Association of Charitable Foundations, wrote to the Guardian about how marvelous this book is(!): “…very helpful…

This is from a charity CEO who I’d never met: “really clear and it is well written. I have revamped my website based on this book! Thank you Caroline!

Phil Buchanan , the respected CEO of the US Center for Effective Philanthropy, wrote in a response to a blog post: “… You identify one of the most destructive mindsets affecting philanthropy — a focus on “efficiency” or low overhead that inhibits effectiveness. I am reading Caroline Fiennes excellent book (“It Ain’t What You Give, It’s the Way You Give It”), and I have not seen a better deconstruction of this mindset than hers.” 

A charity CEO who I do know, but didn’t know she’d read it: “…it really is great. So refreshing, not only to have an intelligent, methodical and respectful approach to charity, but I love your sense of fun too…”

Major donor in Canada whom I’ve never met: “Having been involved in working with, and funding, charities for many years I have read many books on philanthropy. But I think this is the most useful one of them all. Caroline Fiennes has just done a marvelous job… wonderfully easy going and informative… meets a huge need… it is hard to imagine a better investment of money and time than buying and reading this book

This, from a fundraiser, was a surprise because the book’s not written for fundraisers at all: “As a charity fundraiser, I found this book incredibly refreshing and honest”

Your book very annoying. Made me miss my tube stop 🙂 


2 Responses to Book reviews and comments

  1. Pingback: Good charities spend more on administration than less good charities spend | Giving Evidence

  2. didin says:

    Excellent book your review

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