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Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy

Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy

Paul Brest, Hal Harvey

ISBN: 978-1-576-60312-3

Nov 2008

304 pages

Select type: Hardcover


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Winner of the 2009 Skystone Ryan Prize for Research, Association of Fundraising Professionals Research Council

“All outstanding philanthropic successes have one thing in common: They started with a smart strategic plan,” say authors Paul Brest, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Hal Harvey, president of ClimateWorks.  

Money Well Spent explains how to create and implement a strategy that ensures meaningful results.  Components of a smart strategy include:
  • Achieving great clarity about one’s philanthropic goals
  • Specifying indicators of success before beginning a project
  • Designing and implementing a plan commensurate with available resources
  • Evidence-based understanding of the world in which the plan will operate
  • Paying careful attention to milestones to determine if you are on the path to success or if midcourse corrections are necessary

Drawing on examples from over 100 foundations and non-profits, Money Well Spent gives readers the framework they need to design a smart strategy, addressing such key issues as:

  • Effective use of tools—education, science, direct services, advocacy—that can achieve your objectives.
  • How to choose the forms of funding to achieve stated goals
  • How to measure the impact of grants or programs
  • When to be patient and stick with a winning strategy and when to abandon a strategy that isn’t working

This is a book for everyone who wants to get the most from a philanthropic dollar: donors, foundations, and non-profits.


Part  I The Framework of Strategic Philanthropy.  
1 The Promise of Strategic Philanthropy.
2 Choices in Philanthropic Goals, Strategies, and Styles.
3 Analyzing Problems and Developing Solutions.
4 Solving Problems Through Program Strategies.
5 Grantmaking and Due Diligence.
6 Beyond Grantmaking.
7 Forms of Grant Funding.  
8 Mission Investments: Investing for Social Impact.  
9 Assessing Progress and Evaluating Impact.
10  Impact on Steroids: Measuring the Social Return on Your Philanthropic Investment.    

Part  II Tools of the Trade.  
11 Promoting Knowledge.
12 Providing Goods and Services.
13 Influencing Individuals, Policy Makers, and Businesses.
14 Building Fields and Movements.  

Part  III Organizing Your Resources for Strategic Philanthropy.  
15 Choosing the Right Structure for Your Philanthropy .
16 Principal and Principle: Foundation Spending Policies.

Afterword: The Challenges of Strategic Philanthropy.