Synopses & Reviews
The Art of Doing Good
is the ultimate do-gooder's handbook. It provides the essential instruction to ordinary people who either want to be social entrepreneurs and are thinking of starting a nonprofit, or have already begun one and are wondering what they've gotten themselves into. The possibilities of nonprofits are limitless, but invariably, their mission is challenging. The operational structure can be complex and fraught with the tensions of any startup, the financing is uncertain, the hours can be endless and the commitment total. How can you and your organization do this work wisely and well, to bear fruit and actually change the world?
To answer that question, Charles Bronfman and Jeffrey Solomon guide the reader through the life-cycle of any nonprofit, starting with that first explosive Aha! moment of inspiration, and then following through the intense process of self-examination, collecting resources, recruiting and managing staff on a tight budget, determining a plan, and developing measures and systems until the organization is finally ready to take off. The authors then explain how to transform from a social entrepreneur into a manager and how to deal with challenges like resource development, board governance issues, personnel matters, and, trickiest of all, Founder's Syndrome. The book ends with the largest question of all-when, and whether, to step aside, and leave the work to others to carry on. All of these steps are grounded in the tenets of the book's broader philosophy: acting with intentionality and purpose, recognizing that taking satisfaction in social entrepreneurship work is right and necessary, having goals, and knowing that you will collect (and need) a wide group of collaborators.
Throughout the book, the authors share the inspiring true stories of 18 social entrepreneurs including: Michael Brown, who has drawn hundreds of thousands of young Americans to give of themselves in City Year; Darell Hammond, who created the community-built playground movement KaBOOM!; Mark Hanis, who mobilized a political force to combat genocide with his Genocide Intervention Network; and Geoffrey Canada built a community-wide superstructure to support the underserved students of his Harlem Children's Zone, and many more. The authors also draw on their own rich experience in philanthropy. Bronfman's foundation, the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, of which Solomon is president, has undertaken eight startups in three countries, most famously the Birthright Israel program that has already exposed over 300,000 young Jewish adults to life in Israel for ten days, all expenses paid; 21/64, which fosters an intergenerational approach to strategic philanthropy; Reboot, which spurs thought leaders to renewed engagement with issues of Jewish identity; and Gift of New York, which connected 10,000 family members of 9/11 victims with free tickets to cultural, entertainment and sports venues.
The authors' first book, The Art of Giving, was for and about donors. It was aimed at financial philanthropists who changed the world with their money. This new book is intended for active philanthropists who seek to change to world not with their money, but with their effort. With The Art of Doing Good, anyone can create and run an organization that makes a real difference.
How to turn personal passion into an organization with impact
For anyone setting out to change the world, launching a nonprofit venture can be a powerful way to enact change. Whether bringing donated eyeglasses to children who have never seen clearly, revamping inner city schools, or bringing solar cookers to refugee camps, the act of doing good can be life-changing. Yet starting a nonprofit?and running it well?can also pose challenges. The Art of Doing Good is an essential companion for anyone looking to start an organization that makes a real difference.
Drawing from their own leadership roles in the nonprofit world, as well as interviews with 18 celebrated social innovators, the authors prepare would-be social entrepreneurs with guidance and real-world advice for sustaining the spirit, ambition, and ingenuity to keep their vision alive and thriving.
- Features real-life stories of 18 notable social entrepreneurs and the organizations they run, including Geoffrey Canada (Harlem Children?s Zone), Darell Hammond (KaBOOM!), and Michael Brown (City Year)
- Reveals what particular issues nonprofit leaders can expect to face throughout the lifespan of their organization and shares strategies for meeting challenges
- Written by world-renowned philanthropists Bronfman and Solomon, respectively cofounder and CEO of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies and coauthors of The Art of Giving
With thoughtful and comprehensive insight on how the most effective social ventures do good well,The Art of Doing Good is essential reading for both new and experienced nonprofit leaders.
For anyone setting out to make a difference, to tackle head-on one of the world's social problems, launching a nonprofit venture can be a powerful way to enact change. Whether one is bringing donated eyeglasses to children who have never seen clearly, revamping inner city schools, or delivering solar cookers to refugee camps, the act of doing good can be life changing. Yet starting a nonprofit—and running it well—can also pose challenges. When do you make the transition from enthusiastic volunteer to founder of a social venture? How do you scale one person's passion, drive, and tireless efforts?
With its unparalleled insight into how nonprofits grow from an idea to an actual movement, The Art of Doing Good is an essential companion for anyone looking to start an organization that makes a difference. World-renowned philanthropists and activists, Charles Bronfman and Jeffrey Solomon prepare would-be social entrepreneurs with real-world advice for sustaining spirit and ambition, and for developing the ingenuity to make their visions thrive. Drawing on their own leadership roles in the nonprofit world, the authors interweave the lessons from their own social ventures with those of eighteen innovative social entrepreneurs, including Geoffrey Canada, founder of Harlem Children's Zone; Michael Brown, cofounder of City Year; Deborah Kenny, founder and CEO of the Harlem Village Academies; and Darell Hammond, founder of KaBOOM!, among many others. These nonprofit leaders, and the world-changing organizations they run, exemplify how the most effective social entrepreneurs do justice to their founding vision while mapping a course from inspiration to results.
In their first book, The Art of Giving, the authors showed potential philanthropic donors how to approach the world of financial giving in a way that is deeply personal, meaningful, and satisfying. Now, in The Art of Doing Good, Bronfman and Solomon bring this same thoughtful guidance to anyone looking to build a nonprofit or to help an existing organization regain its momentum and vision. Their work can help anyone contribute time and effort more effectively to the causes that matter most.
Praise for The Art of Doing Good
"A nuanced and thorough portrait of the phenomenon of generosity in action, by visionary practitioners not only of the art of doing good, but of the art of transforming society. If the world is to be repaired and redeemed, it will be through the work of Bronfman and Solmon, the visionaries they write about in this book, and the visionaries they will yet inspire."
—Frederick M. Lawrence, president, Brandeis University
"In The Art of Doing Good, Charles Bronfman and Jeffrey Solomon vividly describe the feelings of overwhelming challenge, unbridled passion, and consuming purpose that every social entrepreneur experiences when establishing a new organization. Providing inspiration and thoughtful advice, this book is for both aspiring social entrepreneurs and accomplished practitioners, helping them navigate the myriad trials and opportunities they will encounter as agents of change."
—Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, author, New York Times bestseller Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World
"Charles Bronfman's goodness is displayed through his inspiration, talent, and passion for philanthropy, and The Art of Doing Good is a masterpiece for all to enjoy—not just nonprofits alone. It is about how each and every one of us can leave our own mark in society through our own positive creations."
—Robert K. Kraft, chairman and CEO, New England Patriots and The Kraft Group
"Charles Bronfman and Jeff Solomon's new book crackles with compelling portraits of social change. Aspiring leaders will return to these stories again and again to find both inspiration and practical advice for their own journeys."
—Susan Wolf Ditkoff, partner and cohead, philanthropy practice, The Bridgespan Group
"Charles Bronfman has been involved in the charitable world for his entire life. His knowledge combined with his passion creates effective giving. Philanthropists will find his insights not only interesting, but helpful, as they move forward on their own path of giving."
—Bernie Marcus, chairman, The Marcus Foundation, and cofounder, The Home Depot
About the Author
, of the Seagram's corporate family, was the founding owner of the Montreal Expos and is the chairman of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. Among his many philanthropic achievements is the creation of Birthright Israel and Historica. Bronfman has been awarded six honorary doctorates from universities in three countries for his humanitarian work. With Jeffrey Solomon, Bronfman is the coauthor of The Art of Giving
Jeffrey Solomon, president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, has taught philanthropy at New York University and has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Council on Foundations. Solomon has been chief operating officer of the United Jewish Appeal Federation in New York, and he is a founding trustee of the World Faiths Development Dialogue.
John Sedgwick is the author of eleven books, including the family memoir In My Blood, and has been a regular contributor to the Atlantic, Newsweek, and GQ.
Table of Contents
Part One: Sources of Inspiration
Chapter 1: That Aha! Moment: When Inspiration Strikes
Chapter 2: The Prequel: The History Behind the Idea
Part Two: Bringing Your Idea to Life
Chapter 3: What It Takes
Chapter 4: Getting off the Ground
Chapter 5: Being the Brand
Chapter 6: The Pros and Cons of Partnerships
Chapter 7: Finding Support
Chapter 8: Setting Goals and Keeping on Track
Chapter 9: Staffing Up
Chapter 10: Hard Knocks
Chapter 11: Preparing for Rollout
Part Three: Managing the Organization
Chapter 12: Becoming a Manager
Chapter 13: The Board
Chapter 14: Transparency
Chapter 15: Planning for the Future
Chapter 16 The Money Side
Chapter 17: Making Your Exit
Epilogue: The Value of Leadership
Part Four: Resources
Resource A: Index of Nonprofit Resources
Resource B: Major Supporters of Capacity Building
About the Authors