That’s a great responsibility, and if you give away money, time, or exper-tise, you know that giving well has never been easy. But you may sensethat the choices today are more numerous, more varied, and often moredaunting than ever.We wrote this guide to help you make sense of those choices. We wroteit to help orient you to what we believe is a new era in philanthropy—sonew, in fact, that while its basic shape and challenges are already partof our everyday experience, its implications and opportunities have yetto be fully described, much less explored. And we wrote it because webelieve that understanding this context—the changes in the field, the newoptions, and the new potential—can help you make better decisions andensure that you are doing the best you can with the resources you have.This guide is for anyone who takes giving seriously, and especially forthose ready to make the giving they do more strategic—more focusedand intentional than simply responding to ad hoc requests. Perhaps youare considering giving away larger sums of money or more of your time.Perhaps you’ve accepted an invitation to serve on a foundation board orare starting a new job working in philanthropy. Perhaps you are reconsid-ering your strategy, as an individual giver, as a leader of a philanthropicinstitution or network, or as a staff person in charge of a program area. Orperhaps you work as an adviser, helping others give more effectively.
is all about
the choice to give, the choice of how to give and who to give to,even the choice of when to declare victory or admit failure. It’sa profoundly voluntary act with profoundly important conse-quences. The choices matter not just because donors contributeto important causes and inspiring people, but because philan-thropists contribute to shaping the future for all of us.