Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Giving Read

Laura Arillaga-Andreesseen's marvelous book, Giving 2.0, could be a must-read for anyone overseeing a non-for-profit organization, a foundation, or an endowment fund. It's a book chocked-full of ideas and information about charitable giving and the reasons people give (or not).  

I read the book, I must confess, in no small part to be more knowledgeable and energetic in the ways that I could inspire people to give (time, talent or treasure).  The book doesn't necessarily provide quick and easy answers to such questions, but does offer ample evidence in stat and story.  I also hoped to create some new avenues for my own giving.

But reading the back flyleaf of the book, I noted this paragraph:

All royalties received (directly or indirectly) by the author from the sale of this book will be donated to philanthropic organizations.

While non of my books has contained this disclaimer, I've also tried to pay it forward through the paltry royalties my books have earned.  No one is getting wealthy from my contributions, to be sure, but it is fun to give to those causes, ministries, and places that have captured my heart.  Sometimes, my books have made it possible for me to write an extra zero into the total.  So I like Arrillaga's approach with her writing.

And that's one of the keys to giving, according to Laura Arrillaga:  creativity.  So often our time and effort (even one's hobbies) can be turned into opportunities to give.

Some years back I asked a publisher to send my royalties directly to a ministry.  They declined, stating IRS laws and regulations, which I can understand.  But there are times when it would be nice to know that my words could do more than just decorate a page or consume a vial of ink. Maybe words really can give life.

Giving 2.0 reminds me, once again, that giving is fun. 

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