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An essential, galvanizing narrative about making a difference here and abroad—a road map to becoming the most effective global citizens we can be. In their number one New York Times best seller Half the Sky, husband-and-wife team Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn brought to light struggles faced by women and girls around the globe, and showcased individuals and institu­ An essential, galvanizing narrative about making a difference here and abroad—a road map to becoming the most effective global citizens we can be. In their number one New York Times best seller Half the Sky, husband-and-wife team Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn brought to light struggles faced by women and girls around the globe, and showcased individuals and institu­tions working to address oppression and expand opportunity. A Path Appears is even more ambi­tious in scale: nothing less than a sweeping tap­estry of people who are making the world a better place and a guide to the ways that we can do the same—whether with a donation of $5 or $5 mil­lion, with our time, by capitalizing on our skills as individuals, or by using the resources of our businesses. With scrupulous research and on-the-ground reporting, the authors assay the art and science of giving, identify successful local and global initia­tives, and share astonishing stories from the front lines of social progress. We see the compelling, in­spiring truth of how real people have changed the world, upending the idea that one person can’t make a difference. We meet people like Dr. Gary Slutkin, who devel­oped his landmark Cure Violence program to combat inner-city conflicts in the United States by applying principles of epidemiology; Lester Strong, who left a career as a high-powered television anchor to run an organization bringing in older Americans to tu­tor students in public schools across the country; MIT development economist Esther Duflo, whose pioneering studies of aid effectiveness have revealed new truths about, among other things, the power of hope; and Jessica Posner and Kennedy Odede, who are transforming Kenya’s most notorious slum by ex­panding educational opportunities for girls. A Path Appears offers practical, results-driven advice on how best each of us can give and reveals the lasting benefits we gain in return. Kristof and WuDunn know better than most how many urgent challenges communities around the world face to­day. Here they offer a timely beacon of hope for our collective future.


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An essential, galvanizing narrative about making a difference here and abroad—a road map to becoming the most effective global citizens we can be. In their number one New York Times best seller Half the Sky, husband-and-wife team Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn brought to light struggles faced by women and girls around the globe, and showcased individuals and institu­ An essential, galvanizing narrative about making a difference here and abroad—a road map to becoming the most effective global citizens we can be. In their number one New York Times best seller Half the Sky, husband-and-wife team Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn brought to light struggles faced by women and girls around the globe, and showcased individuals and institu­tions working to address oppression and expand opportunity. A Path Appears is even more ambi­tious in scale: nothing less than a sweeping tap­estry of people who are making the world a better place and a guide to the ways that we can do the same—whether with a donation of $5 or $5 mil­lion, with our time, by capitalizing on our skills as individuals, or by using the resources of our businesses. With scrupulous research and on-the-ground reporting, the authors assay the art and science of giving, identify successful local and global initia­tives, and share astonishing stories from the front lines of social progress. We see the compelling, in­spiring truth of how real people have changed the world, upending the idea that one person can’t make a difference. We meet people like Dr. Gary Slutkin, who devel­oped his landmark Cure Violence program to combat inner-city conflicts in the United States by applying principles of epidemiology; Lester Strong, who left a career as a high-powered television anchor to run an organization bringing in older Americans to tu­tor students in public schools across the country; MIT development economist Esther Duflo, whose pioneering studies of aid effectiveness have revealed new truths about, among other things, the power of hope; and Jessica Posner and Kennedy Odede, who are transforming Kenya’s most notorious slum by ex­panding educational opportunities for girls. A Path Appears offers practical, results-driven advice on how best each of us can give and reveals the lasting benefits we gain in return. Kristof and WuDunn know better than most how many urgent challenges communities around the world face to­day. Here they offer a timely beacon of hope for our collective future.

30 review for A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity

  1. 4 out of 5

    Barry

    The most expensive book I've ever purchased? Yes, by a lot if you count the four times I got up from reading this to make a donation to one of the amazing organizations whose stories are included. More importantly, this has the potential to be the most impactful book ever. Coming at a time when I'm beginning to think about my own future in larger terms than the usual "which necktie will I wear tomorrow morning," this book was an inspiration, a challenge, and I think a very useful tool to focus/r The most expensive book I've ever purchased? Yes, by a lot if you count the four times I got up from reading this to make a donation to one of the amazing organizations whose stories are included. More importantly, this has the potential to be the most impactful book ever. Coming at a time when I'm beginning to think about my own future in larger terms than the usual "which necktie will I wear tomorrow morning," this book was an inspiration, a challenge, and I think a very useful tool to focus/re-focus the thinking. Whether you are pondering seriously what brings meaning to your life or just how to allocate your annual charitable giving before the tax year slips away, you need to read this. I mean 100% of you, no kidding. And give it to your children. They can benefit even more. It's that great.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    A foggy cliff-side path. The premise of this book is wonderful: let's do more of what's proven to work to decrease poverty, disease and other problems. "A Path Appears" starts off well with NFP, the Poverty Lab and other monuments of evidence-based practice. But then it detours into stories about charismatic individuals, trendy concepts, and other dead ends. The authors acknowledge that they have been led astray at times, for example, by the "Three Cups of Tea" charlatan. But even there, they mud A foggy cliff-side path. The premise of this book is wonderful: let's do more of what's proven to work to decrease poverty, disease and other problems. "A Path Appears" starts off well with NFP, the Poverty Lab and other monuments of evidence-based practice. But then it detours into stories about charismatic individuals, trendy concepts, and other dead ends. The authors acknowledge that they have been led astray at times, for example, by the "Three Cups of Tea" charlatan. But even there, they muddy the moral of the story. The issue wasn't just accounting shenanigans, as they imply. Tea-dude was supposed to be building schools, but many of the schools didn't even exist. So you don't need sophisticated evaluation to tell if something is fishy. And that's without even looking at outcomes like literacy. The authors want to follow the path of evidence-based practice. What throws them off track? I'm not sure, but this is an important question. You can't just believe people who stick the term "evidence-based" into their brochures. Lots of programs claim to be effective but aren't. People lie, or fool themselves. A better recent book for understanding this tension is "The Idealist." And if the point is just to highlight a bunch of decent programs, I would recommend "Give a Little."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Clif Hostetler

    The purpose of this book is to encourage readers to join efforts to end poverty. This is a wide ranging subject, and this book often admits to its complexity. The book doesn’t shy away from mentioning the mistakes and unintended consequences that have resulted from some past philanthropic attempts to fight poverty. But the overall tone of the book is upbeat and positive. The overall message is that modern tools such as data mining, academic studies, professional bookkeeping practices, and worldw The purpose of this book is to encourage readers to join efforts to end poverty. This is a wide ranging subject, and this book often admits to its complexity. The book doesn’t shy away from mentioning the mistakes and unintended consequences that have resulted from some past philanthropic attempts to fight poverty. But the overall tone of the book is upbeat and positive. The overall message is that modern tools such as data mining, academic studies, professional bookkeeping practices, and worldwide web provide a means to determine what works and what doesn’t. The book provides a variety of heart-tugging vignettes followed by a reviews of the evidence that give examples of efforts toward amelioration of the effects of poverty around the world (both in developed and under-developed countries). The book contains discussion of human psychology, possible evolutionary reasons for human motivations for giving and caring, and known physiological and psychological effects on the giver. The title of the book is taken from the Chinese essayist Lu Xun (1921): Hope is like a path in the countryside. Originally, there is nothing--but as people walk this way again and again, a path appears. This book is suggesting that if we try, a path will appear toward ending poverty. The book explains that there is cause for hope based on past progress even though many of us may feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem. Crippling diseases such as leprosy, guinea worm, and polio are on their way out, and in the next twenty or thirty years malaria and AIDS are also likely to be eliminated as public health threats (although cases will still be reported here and there). The number of children dying before the age of five has almost halved since 1990, even though the number of children has risen. As recently as 1980, half the population of the developing world lived in extreme poverty, defined by the World Bank as less than $1.25 per person per day in today's money. That share is now down to 20 percent, and the World Bank aims to lower it to near zero by 2030. At that time, just about every boy and girl around the world will go to primary school and learn to read. For all of human history until about 1950, a majority of human adults were illiterate; in one lifetime the adult illiteracy rate worldwide has dropped to about 16 percent. On our watch in the next few decades, we have a chance to eliminate the conditions--illiteracy, famine, parasitic disease, and the most abject poverty--that have shaped the majority of human existence since our ancestors began to walk upright. The following are some excerpts from the book that caught my eye. They are NOT the most important things in the book. They’re just little snippets that brought a smile to my face. This first one provides an idea for a unique Father’s Day Gift: One Father’s Day, our teenage kids banded together and gave Nic the perfect gift for any dad--a rat. It was an African giant pouched rat, to be precise, and it has a wondrous sense of smell that allows it to do heroic work detecting landmines. Our kids sponsored one rat's training in Nick's name. The breed is thirty inches long including the tail, with poor eyesight but a superb sense of smell. A Belgian aid group called Apopo figured out how to train these animals to do this lifesaving work. The rats are too light to set off the mines, and they are easily trainable. With a life span of eight years, the rats have plenty of time to earn back the training costs. In a single day, one of these rats--dubbed HeroRats--can clear 400 square meters of land otherwise unusable because of landmines. The HeroRats are deployed to clear mines in Mozambique and Angola, and in twenty minutes they can help clear as much land as human could in two days. The following story is in this book but is credited to the crowd-sourced book Random Acts of Kindness Then and Now. I think it is an illustration as to why poor people give away a larger proportion of their incomes than rich people: A friend who was working in the Dominican Republic with Habitat for Humanity had befriended a small boy named Etin. He noticed that when Etin wore a shirt at all, it was always the same dirty, tattered one. A box of used clothes had been left at the camp, and my friend found two shirts in it that were in reasonably good shape and about Etin’s size, so he gave them to the grateful boy. A few days later he saw another boy wearing one of the shirts. When he next met up with Etin he explained that the shirts were meant for him. Etin just looked at him and said, “But you gave me two!” At the end of the book there’s a two paged “Gift List” of suggested charitable presents that can be given in someone’s name that may have a truly transformative impact. There is also a ten paged list of “Useful Organizations” at the end of the book, but the authors make no claim to have screened the list for charitable effectiveness. They suggest checking with Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, Philanthropedia, or the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance for evaluations. The audio book does not contain these lists found at the end of printed book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mlg

    Another fabulous book from Kristof and WuDunn. What makes their work especially meaningful is their ability not only to highlight problems in the world, but to also suggest real, workable solutions where the reader can contribute. Beginning with poverty issues in the US, they move to a section that discusses the efficacy of different charities. A large section on water charities and how to market your charity also made interesting reading for those who work with these types of organizations. Th Another fabulous book from Kristof and WuDunn. What makes their work especially meaningful is their ability not only to highlight problems in the world, but to also suggest real, workable solutions where the reader can contribute. Beginning with poverty issues in the US, they move to a section that discusses the efficacy of different charities. A large section on water charities and how to market your charity also made interesting reading for those who work with these types of organizations. The book finished with the altruistic reasons to volunteer: It lengthens your life, makes you healthier and of course, makes a contribution to the world. There was a great quote where one charity worker stated what he believed was the secret of life: "Think early on what you want your legacy to be, what you would like to be able to say on your deathbed. Then work backward from there." I couldn't agree more.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen Ashmore

    While Kristof and WuDunn are certainly on the right path, they tend to advocate more for charity than a sustainability perspective and lean more towards hype than substance. For example, they are big fans of charity:water -- which is full of glitter, marketing and celebrity presence but does not always focus on sustainable, long term solutions like water.org or other organizations that work for community wide, permanent and self-sustaining solutions for clean water. Still, they present some good While Kristof and WuDunn are certainly on the right path, they tend to advocate more for charity than a sustainability perspective and lean more towards hype than substance. For example, they are big fans of charity:water -- which is full of glitter, marketing and celebrity presence but does not always focus on sustainable, long term solutions like water.org or other organizations that work for community wide, permanent and self-sustaining solutions for clean water. Still, they present some good ideas and this book is worth reading by folks who want to better understand global poverty.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    If you’ve ever felt that you are too small to make a difference in the world, then reading this book is essential. The authors examine not only the art and science behind giving, but describe successful local and global initiatives that have reshaped the world. The combination of practical advice and moving stories will motivate and inspire you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janalee

    There. This oughta make up for all the candied fluff I've been indulging in lately. There is so, so, so much to comment on here. I think this should be required HS reading instead of drivel like The Great Gatsby. In fact maybe the Great Gatsby characters would do well to read this. 45 stars. There. This oughta make up for all the candied fluff I've been indulging in lately. There is so, so, so much to comment on here. I think this should be required HS reading instead of drivel like The Great Gatsby. In fact maybe the Great Gatsby characters would do well to read this. 45 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I liked the idea of this book. It was a reminder that we all need to do our part to help others and this is always a needed message. Charitable hearts are needed in this world to do big things and little things. In this book many practical avenues were explored for everyone....some were easy and simple and others were quite extensive. I liked the history of this and how certain efforts have worked well for the impoverished. What I didn't like was the nay saying. I realize there have been epic f I liked the idea of this book. It was a reminder that we all need to do our part to help others and this is always a needed message. Charitable hearts are needed in this world to do big things and little things. In this book many practical avenues were explored for everyone....some were easy and simple and others were quite extensive. I liked the history of this and how certain efforts have worked well for the impoverished. What I didn't like was the nay saying. I realize there have been epic fails with the "one and done" mentality of 1st world organizations trying to fix 3rd world problems. They step in, fix the problem with equipment, then they leave. But because of poverty, the villagers are unable to replace parts, or whatever, and life for them resumes to the way it was before the improvements. But overall, I liked the emphasis on the "path appears" message. If one has a desire to help and is willing to share talents, time and money, there is a path for them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marzie

    Another wonderful book by Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. While some might find the book less emotionally powerful than Half the Sky this book is an excellent resource for those who are looking to make a difference in the world around them. It's packed with suggestions about how to give mindfully on any scale, including the importance of looking at Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. With an emphasis on the importance of early (like even pre-natal) interventions, all the way through trying to Another wonderful book by Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. While some might find the book less emotionally powerful than Half the Sky this book is an excellent resource for those who are looking to make a difference in the world around them. It's packed with suggestions about how to give mindfully on any scale, including the importance of looking at Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. With an emphasis on the importance of early (like even pre-natal) interventions, all the way through trying to aid teens and homeless adults, this book doesn't emphasize far flung corners of the world as much as it does helping in our own backyard, here in the US. Kristof and WuDunn have pulled together an enormous amount of research and made it accessible. They have also looked again at programs that have gotten poor reviews (for example Head Start) in recent times and what made the actual literature review of a program questionable itself. The authors drive home the point that nothing is facile when it comes to either funding or being "the change." They also make it clear that bettering even a single life is invaluable to the child or adult who lives that life and escapes a cycle of poverty, poor health or lack of opportunity. Another amazing book, from an amazing couple. And loved the backstory on Nick's parents, two people whose own opportunities in the land of opportunity have resulted in a powerful advocate for the disavantaged everywhere.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Gans

    I did not enjoy this book very much. The authors are equally condescending towards their subjects, poor people who apparently just don't know any better and their readers, expecting them to simply accept their carefully chosen details and cherry-picked studies without analysis. Throwing money at social problems does not always work and rewarding people for participating in a culture of dependency is not prudent use of anyone's funds. Giving can be good and make a difference. Find a good cause and I did not enjoy this book very much. The authors are equally condescending towards their subjects, poor people who apparently just don't know any better and their readers, expecting them to simply accept their carefully chosen details and cherry-picked studies without analysis. Throwing money at social problems does not always work and rewarding people for participating in a culture of dependency is not prudent use of anyone's funds. Giving can be good and make a difference. Find a good cause and people you can trust with your time and money. I think the best point this book makes is about the difference between fighting poverty in developing countries and fighting poverty in the United States, where poor people here already have a television in every room, indoor plumbing, cars and cell phones, all of which provide a very high standard of living relative to the rest of the world. Who cares about books and education when you already have a iPhone? It's no wonder that the volunteers do not experience gratitude from the fellow citizens they help, but rather scorn. It seems that we are not so civilized after all.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I read this for the Popsugar Challenge 2020 prompt "a book by or about a journalist". This is my second book by this socially conscious couple, and like Half the Sky, I found it very readable and inspiring. This one speaks of charity giving, both monetary and volunteer time, and really makes you think you should find a way to contribute to the overall good of society throughout the world. It gives a lot of concrete examples of efforts being made around the world (including in the USA), and inclu I read this for the Popsugar Challenge 2020 prompt "a book by or about a journalist". This is my second book by this socially conscious couple, and like Half the Sky, I found it very readable and inspiring. This one speaks of charity giving, both monetary and volunteer time, and really makes you think you should find a way to contribute to the overall good of society throughout the world. It gives a lot of concrete examples of efforts being made around the world (including in the USA), and includes tips on evaluating charitable organizations to make sure your money is being used wisely. Examples include not only straight charitable organizations, but how for-profit companies can contribute as well. Well worth a read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Drtaxsacto

    This book is really three resources. Two of them are useful, one not so much. First, it is a series of stories about successful fund-raising and charitable activities. Most of the book is centered on what I believe are a very narrow definition of charitable activity. The authors are prone to making blanket statements about which charities are serving the needs of society (they believe social welfare and cause charities are), I think that is a very limited view. But the stories are interesting an This book is really three resources. Two of them are useful, one not so much. First, it is a series of stories about successful fund-raising and charitable activities. Most of the book is centered on what I believe are a very narrow definition of charitable activity. The authors are prone to making blanket statements about which charities are serving the needs of society (they believe social welfare and cause charities are), I think that is a very limited view. But the stories are interesting and some very compelling. At the end of the book the authors offer a series of helpful suggestions for potential donors - the most important one being do some research about charities you and to support AND focus your contributions. A thousand dollar contribution may be more useful than 100 $10 contributions. The second part of the book is the demand that charities become more "accountable" - the authors make the statement that most charities operate on 19th century standards and they think they should operate with more "evidence". That is not a bad point but it may not reflect current realities. It echoes the writings of one person they mention a lot - an author named Dan Palotta. In a Ted Talk (http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta...) Palotta argued that charities should do a better job of marketing, collaboration, compensating their key employees and host of other things. Palotta is a promoter who got bounced from one of his charities because of the way he was compensated. Many of the best charities have developed data, compensation systems (including incentives) and marketing approaches which rival some of the best for profit companies. There is some creative thought about how to do more of that. In the area of compensation - there is a balance that needs to be struck, One only need to think about the troubles faced by former United Way Exec William Arimony to understand some of the constraints on how compensation in the non-profit sector should be different. The IRS rules on Intermediate Sanctions provided some useful guidelines for charities that want to think creatively. The authors also seem to think that Direct Mail is a good technique to raise money. That may be useful for some but the returns on direct mail continue to drop. Compare the fund-raising techniques for the Ice Bucket Challenge to the kinds of returns in the book using direct mail and you might come to a different conclusion. The call for evidence based philanthropy is good but I am not sure they have taken the whole notion in. A lot of the evidence based examples they use started from simple cost benefit analysis where the variables do not include alternative uses of funds. For example, the best evidence based philanthropy would make some comparisons among choices (what Frederic Bastiat called the "seen and the unseen") - the authors don't seem to be willing to extend that point to its logical conclusion. A good part of the rationale for charities, was, as Waldemar Neilsen argued in his books of more than forty years ago, to give society an option between public and private activity. Where I think the book was not helpful was in their call for additional lobbying to link social causes with governmental programs/activities. Unfortunately, Wudunn and Kristoff seem to believe that ultimately anything social in nature starts with government - they should re-read DeTocqueville. All that being said there is a lot of meat in this book. I have taught graduate level courses on non-profit management and this would be an obvious choice for something for the students to read (much better in my opinion than books by Palotta - which seem to come from the same side of the political ledger but are much more hyped in rhetoric. Could charities do better, indeed they could but are they stagnating in old techniques - not as much as the authors generalize they are.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

    I needed to read this book. Lots of great suggestions as well as a better understanding of the non-profit world.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    While reading this book I considered becoming a foster parent, going back to school to get my masters degree in social work, adopting a child with special needs, and on and on. While I am not quite ready to take a big step like these things I've mentioned, it really opened my eyes to possibilities. This book takes a compelling look at how people can make a difference in the world. It looked at altruism from every angle possible. Why we give, how we feel when we help, the best ways to help, how s While reading this book I considered becoming a foster parent, going back to school to get my masters degree in social work, adopting a child with special needs, and on and on. While I am not quite ready to take a big step like these things I've mentioned, it really opened my eyes to possibilities. This book takes a compelling look at how people can make a difference in the world. It looked at altruism from every angle possible. Why we give, how we feel when we help, the best ways to help, how some things we do help more than others, and it was all interesting to me! Just like when I finished their other book "Half The Sky," I finished this book determined to do better in making this world a better place and more committed to encourage my children to find ways to serve as well. I listened to the audiobook, but I've ordered a copy of the book because this is one I plan to return to many times for inspiration, ideas, and encouragement. The only negative thing I could mention is that early in the book they voiced their approval of UNICEF, an organization which I don't regard highly, because it has discouraged and made more difficult the process of adopting children internationally.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    So,so good. The book highlights organizations that are doing humanitarian work effectively, details data that explains why altruism creates lasting happiness, and explores how we rate and determine which organizations "deserve" our money. I was inspired to start making regular donations to a couple of different organizations. The book gets 5 stars for the information it communicates but also for what it (hopefully) motivates people to do. A couple of key points I appreciated: A charity that spends So,so good. The book highlights organizations that are doing humanitarian work effectively, details data that explains why altruism creates lasting happiness, and explores how we rate and determine which organizations "deserve" our money. I was inspired to start making regular donations to a couple of different organizations. The book gets 5 stars for the information it communicates but also for what it (hopefully) motivates people to do. A couple of key points I appreciated: A charity that spends $1 million on advertising but raises $15 million for a cause is more effective than a charity that spends 98% of donations on aid but only raises $5,000. The world doesn't need more people to start charitable organizations. It needs smart and willing people to work with already effective organizations to broaden their reach.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. I loved Kristof and WuDunn's Half the Sky and was very eager to read this book. A Path Appears was well-written, but I felt that it was not as powerful as Half the Sky . If you are wanting to volunteer and/ or donate to pressing issues at home and abroad, then this book is perfect for you. It not only describes what you can do to help, but puts faces to these issues and highlights why the need to resolve these issues is paramount. I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. I loved Kristof and WuDunn's Half the Sky and was very eager to read this book. A Path Appears was well-written, but I felt that it was not as powerful as Half the Sky . If you are wanting to volunteer and/ or donate to pressing issues at home and abroad, then this book is perfect for you. It not only describes what you can do to help, but puts faces to these issues and highlights why the need to resolve these issues is paramount. My only major complaint about A Path Appears is that it reads like a textbook at some points, especially when describing certain studies and previous research. Overall, an engaging, eye-opening, and inspiring read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lori Cox

    This book is by the authors of Half the Sky and goes into various ways a person can make a difference in the world. The main points are: *Even if you think what you are contributing is just a drop in the bucket, it is how buckets get filled. *There is a charity or organization out there for you, which fits your interests, your time and your purse. * Just like you would do research if you were in the market for a new TV, make sure to research various charities. This book has a lot of stories of This book is by the authors of Half the Sky and goes into various ways a person can make a difference in the world. The main points are: *Even if you think what you are contributing is just a drop in the bucket, it is how buckets get filled. *There is a charity or organization out there for you, which fits your interests, your time and your purse. * Just like you would do research if you were in the market for a new TV, make sure to research various charities. This book has a lot of stories of people doing good things in this world but it is a very dry read. I found the book was too long and dense and ended up skimming over the last half. Some unknown charities to me were interesting, but a Google search would have been shorter and easier.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sunset

    Inspirational! These are true accounts of women in all parts of the world that have survived Horror and are working towards life with inspirational, creative determination. These are stories of courage and perseverance that kindle empathy for humanity. A forever book to refer to when life seems bleak.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Correen

    Kristof is perhaps the most believable reviewer of charities. He is impassioned, gives fascinating anecdotes, cites his sources, and provides refuting information where appropriate. Each time I read his work, I want to run out and carefully donate money to a charity.

  20. 5 out of 5

    SJ

    I was overall unimpressed with this. Think Chicken Soup for Volunteers - short stories, very little practical application pointers.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matt Morgan

    This book was all about opening your eyes to issues around the world and right in our backyard and different ways in which we can help. They key being WE. You don't need millions in your bank account, or unlimited free time to travel the globe and volunteer. The couples point in writing this book was that there is not one single answer to fighting poverty or curing all the suffering - there is a unique way we all can help.....because there is a ton of suffering going on. The book could be depress This book was all about opening your eyes to issues around the world and right in our backyard and different ways in which we can help. They key being WE. You don't need millions in your bank account, or unlimited free time to travel the globe and volunteer. The couples point in writing this book was that there is not one single answer to fighting poverty or curing all the suffering - there is a unique way we all can help.....because there is a ton of suffering going on. The book could be depressing to some - but it's more important to be aware of what opportunities there are to serve, find something that you connect with - and go out and have an impact! No matter how big or small. Some notes/ highlighted topics from my reading (all speech to text): Starts off talking about a little girl who cut her hair multiple times and then got big spike in water well birthday donations when she was critically injured – later died. Studies show that rich ppl think like prosperity gospel (ppl are blessed monetarily when they do good things, ppl suffer and are poor because of bad choices) and look at images of poverty as things, not ppl Charles Woodson, Kristi yamaguchi and Mia ham had club foot. $250 to cure instead of destined for begger When asked what you’d do with $1M, experts say best to spend $1 M on campaign to raise more Just because we can't help everyone doesn't mean we shouldn't help no one “Beed for life” - not a handout. Create entrepreneurs Thought beed for life was about Ugandans - it's about Americans too Even the most brilliant ideas don't end up as intended – Hillary Clinton clean cook stove $70 million Micro savings > micro finance (micro finance works but not very significant compared to control areas) Higher economic returns investing in Paris through grade school Whether or not a child ends up in prison or having a successful career should not be determined by both circumstances and ZIP Codes Poverty in the Rich world seems so intractable They went all over the world to Bangladesh and Budapest trying to cure world poverty and found themselves with the next-door neighbors grandkids (Idrug attic parents) and they felt helpless didn't know what they can do Teaching in the rural village of Nepal was a piece of cake compared to teaching in inner-city Washington DC Chapter 3-ish the entire conversation about Pineridge Indian reservation in North Dakota poverty is more than just a lack of money it is a lack of jobs a lack of family and social rlthp The red cloud Indian school is a great example of charity not only addressing issues but their symptoms Growing up poor is bad for the brain – newborns brains are bathed in court is all when they grow up in poverty albeit stress anxiety affects of those impoverished circumstances Infants with attentive parents can more accurately predict high school dropout rates than IQ Critical to intervene early in life economists have decided that would be much better to take sums of money invested in high school and college and put into the first five years of life Universities end up getting all the government subsidies 30 million more words heard by a 4 yr old of professionals vs welfare babies - welfare babies hear 1 encouraging for every two negative whereas professionals kids hear 6 encouraging for every 1 negative Income far outpaced black to white achievement gap in last 10 years GED teaches no perseverance - kids need grit Acute shortage of male mentors Marshmallow test as 3 to 6-year-olds those who waited 15 minutes scored 210 points better on the SAT the one causation fit all came back from this research was the home Jews Asian Americans and west Indian blacks are great examples of grit America detains children and arrests five times greater then any other country Love kids so they know they can grow up with grit and become more then their parents Ronald Ragan – the best social program is a job We have grossly under invested in early developmental years – it shows the power of the voting power of the elderly me invest so much safety nets for the Americans are more likely to donate money to affect change thousands of miles away a lot of times because the money stretches so much farther When those in poverty stress about every day bills they show biologically more negative implications and her unable to discipline themselves People in poverty especially those fighting barriers of racism can suffer from learned helplessness just like animals (dog shock ) - hope improves mental health mental health leads Grit and perseverance which then can unlearn learned helplessness (giving a goat to villagers and they accumulated way more wealth than expected) Micro finance versus compassion international conversation: don't train ppl to be receivers train people to be givers. focus on necessities and not just extrnal Rwanda charity is no solution to poverty too much a leads to a reliance on an outside influence people taking no responsibility Kennedy from the slums in Nairobi had to call his mom to make sure he died and gone to heaven when he got to America on the school scholarship it was the first time food was not a concern Each murder in America is estimated to cost between $10-$12 million with social services prison justice fees etc. Read ‘uncharitable’ Store Akley we evaluate charities all wrong when looking negatively on high salaries need to be able to hire the most competent and the most innovative Typically non-profits invest in building infrastructure therefore it makes it impossible for them to scale Risk-taking is rewarded in the for-profit world yet charities and nonprofits are systematically forced to hide failures Is giving really about plumbers and teachers paying for ultra rich donors to get a tax write off and a business school university building in their name and ensuring their kids and grandkids acceptance in the years to come Ted Turner paved the way for Bill Gates etc. to give away their fortunes. his $1 billion donation to the United Nations was the single largest at the time Meanwhile Donald Trump is not even the biggest contributor to his own foundation Hedge fund guys were making way too much money than they needed, wanted to be philanthropic so they looked at a bunch of different water well charities but wanted to make sure they were having the best and biggest impact what they found was that all the reports were on operational overhead etc. and not enough focus on actual impact These guys formed ‘givewell’ applying the same concepts and strategies they used to analyze the bondmarket this whole movement leading up to affective all truism Watch smile pinky– mulanie guy who started smile train about repairing cleft lip in children this guy was all about recruiting talk business as he came from Madison Avenue making $2 million a year in marketing. His thoughts are that it's next to impossible to convince the public that this is what sherries need to do parentheses spend big bucks on marketing and recruiting business minded salary demanding individuals) Mullaney left smile train and started wonderwork applying his same direct mailing/marketing strategies to a conglomerate an umbrella of multiple other charities focused on clubfoot and other third world necessary surgeries. He also funnels millions of dollars to good charities that are just pour at fundraising As long as the charity is true to its mission and showing significant impact selling is very important (big marketing dollars, direct mailings, showing a white kid even though the money is predominantly going to Asians and Africans) Read ‘the life you can save’ - about the guy who did experiments on prepping you with a logical math equations before seeing who responded to charities and those who did math problems and Wernett logical mind that beforehand were less likely to donate Stalin - "a single death is a tragedy 1 million deaths is a statistic". This is why a lot of times charities that are focused on such maths issues don't get the response they are looking for The more who die the less we care Bill Gates has talked about one of the huge shortcomings of charities is that we are not able to articulate how thrilling it is to save a life Bill Gates talked about a panel he sat on in Dabo talking about saving millions of lives yet it was the most boring panel he is ever been on. Bill Gates spoke about how amazing it is to save one life let alone 1 million lives -he talked about how in business he had been at conferences where people were jumping up-and-down screaming about a new piece of software and it's all about the stories we tell businesses able to articulate clear and passion and stories Read all of chapter 13 - for profit social ventures explored read Milton Friedman New York Times article about corporate social responsibility and being hypocritical If you get a Ferrari or Porsche we are happier for a time but then we always come back to our normal level of happiness whereas when we connect with a clause that is larger than ourselves that is when our reset level of happiness can actually be increased There are tons of studies that show that when you give you were happier and healthier One study also went to extensive lengths to find that giving is as addictive cocaine Talked about Helen Keller charity and all of the "boring" things Helen Keller has done to cure blindness. The whole conversation hear was about how hard it is to get attention when you were not "sexy" Read about Scott Harrison and charity water The last thing he needs is one more charity on top of the existing 1,000,000+ that are out there Example would be play wells - some charities end up doing more harm than good There is a need to buck the trend that says that you spend the beginning third of your life learning the middle third of your life earning money and then the last third of your life giving back because this would mean that you miss out on two thirds of time reaping all the benefits of giving They purposely have not started their own foundation charity because they took it on to tell everyone else what is already out there Their point in writing this book was to educate the masses that there are many ways to give and serve that aren't such a sacrifice that can be incorporated into every day life such as a rescue rat (landmine sniffing) and worm vaccines etc The world is full of great people who were making a difference giving back for example a couple chose to forgo an engagement ring in order to build a school through room to read parentheses Microsoft exec founded John wood) Affluent who live in economically diverse neighborhood give more than the affluent live amongst and socially are typically only around other people – this is because the affluent you don't see and interact with those who need help or less likely to give Read the crowd sourced book "random acts of kindness's" It's not that we are hardhearted but that we don't see and experience and interact with those were suffering on a regular basis if it all and all so that we don't believe that a modest some can have a great impact. This book shows a dozen different ways that he very small son has a great impact. Yet this book shows countless examples of a modest two very small son having a great time. The latest example being $.75 to cure dracoma The steps they give at the end of the book: 1. find a cause I care about and research it 2. volunteer get involved or do something more than just writing a check (the analogy of there are so many things that influenced car accidents - not one answer to solving the crisis’ around the globe) Toby Ord from Oxford set up givingwhatwecan - this all prompted from a friend in college trying to make his ethics arguments sound ridiculous told him why don't you just give most of your money to the poor if they need it more than you do he ended up calculating that he would make One and a half million pounds in his working career so he decided right then and there that he would give away 1,000,000 pounds throughout his life. He understood the economics that the 'extra' money we have can do so much more than it can for us after a certain level

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    I love everything this husband and wife team write, apparently. Loved "Half the Sky", which focused on helping women specifically. This book focuses on philanthropy in general, both globally and in the US. The author goes through what studies show about what kind of programs have been most effective, combined with stories showing how some of the programs began and the effect they have had on individuals. So much helpful info on how ordinary people who aren't extraordinarily rich can make the mos I love everything this husband and wife team write, apparently. Loved "Half the Sky", which focused on helping women specifically. This book focuses on philanthropy in general, both globally and in the US. The author goes through what studies show about what kind of programs have been most effective, combined with stories showing how some of the programs began and the effect they have had on individuals. So much helpful info on how ordinary people who aren't extraordinarily rich can make the most meaningful contributions to providing opportunity to people locally and globally. Here are a few quick takeaways: One of the biggest things I learned was a paradigm shift on how much CEO's of nonprofits make. We've all seen the Facebook post that accuses the CEO of various nonprofits of making vast sums of money and encouraging folks to avoid donating to these charities. The author shares the ideas of Dan Pallotta, which you can hear more about in his TED talk, "The way we think about charity is dead wrong". Basic message is: nonprofits stay small and only marginally impactful because most people innately don't want them to be run like businesses, which stunts their growth and potential. For example, donors might question sending mailers or running ads, seeing these expenditures as wasteful, even though they increase donations. The other problem is that only the most dedicated of talented folks are going to go into the nonprofit sector if the nonprofit won't pay them what they're worth. Paying a smaller number of incredibly talented employees generously would have a bigger impact than paying the least amount of money possible to whoever can stomach the low salary. That's why Kristof cautions against judging nonprofits on Charity Watch-type analyses, and instead choose a nonprofit based on impact. Microsavings programs have been more beneficial than microlending programs like Kiva. Microsaving uses a simple but effective system involving a lockbox where villagers can save small amounts of money in the absence of a bank. Turns out, they don't waste as much on alcohol, gambling, prostitution, and other vices this way. You can pay to start a microsavings program in a community that needs it for around $25 on Care.org as a gift. Other cool gifts in this price range include spa kit from Thistle farms, including lotions and balms made by survivors of US sex trafficking. Also, a brownie gift box from Greyston Bakery, which employs the homeless and formerly incarcerated in NY. Deworming children remains one of the cheapest, most influential causes you could wish for, adding IQ points and preventing malnutrition for pennies per child. First Book provides books for low-income children who often have few books at home. There are seriously SO many ideas here on how you can help raise money for important causes in lieu of birthday or holiday or Mothers/Fathers Day gifts, or have a potluck in lieu of a restaurant dinner and donate the $ you would have spent with Dining for Women, and on and on. Finally, it's probably not desirable or necessary for you to start your own nonprofit. Everybody wants to be founder and get the glory, but most social entrepreneurial efforts fail. There are 1.4 million nonprofits in the US alone- WAY too many. More could be done if these were consolidated into a smaller number of more focused efforts.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Hayes

    Life changing. I wish I had read this a couple years ago when Joanna gave it to me for Christmas! I love Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s writing style- talk about power couple- where they have a very macroeconomic, fact based and practical approach to social change. I love a good argument that addresses hidden/opportunity costs related to a project, I.e how investing in clean cookstoves is a great idea in theory- if they worked properly and people used them. So treating charity like any othe Life changing. I wish I had read this a couple years ago when Joanna gave it to me for Christmas! I love Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s writing style- talk about power couple- where they have a very macroeconomic, fact based and practical approach to social change. I love a good argument that addresses hidden/opportunity costs related to a project, I.e how investing in clean cookstoves is a great idea in theory- if they worked properly and people used them. So treating charity like any other investment- with careful research and a focus on the return- is money better spent. I also connected with the idea that non profits are antiquated in that they “shouldn’t” use donor money towards higher salaries and marketing budgets, yet they can’t retain skilled employees or attract more donors. Their suggestion for modeling the classic lawyer Pro Bono work in other industries is also a really achievable way to connect your day job with a relevant cause. I could go on, but this book definitely makes all of its readers want to be a better person, and it gives them the tools to do so.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Despite the important critiques of these authors, I still believe in what they are doing. I appreciated the focus on evidence-based success in their approach to highlighting people and groups doing good in the world. My biggest take-away: our society's obsession with non-profit overhead and the detrimental effect of this attitude on real change, sustainability, and scale. In order to do good work, people need to be payed fairly and operating costs need to be covered. I felt this acutely when I de Despite the important critiques of these authors, I still believe in what they are doing. I appreciated the focus on evidence-based success in their approach to highlighting people and groups doing good in the world. My biggest take-away: our society's obsession with non-profit overhead and the detrimental effect of this attitude on real change, sustainability, and scale. In order to do good work, people need to be payed fairly and operating costs need to be covered. I felt this acutely when I decided to leave a past job at a small non-profit. I will be more critical of my own visits to Charity Navigator from now on and do more homework about organizations that I might donate to.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Noe

    Another book for yet another college class. The purpose of this book is to promote charitable acts & it accomplishes via heartwarming & heartbreaking stories. The tone is optimistic & upbeat without sounding preachy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Suzie

    This is an uplifting book about the many non profits available for donations. I would have rather seen more story line about the people that started each of these non profits but I’m sure it would have been too lengthy. My hat Is off to the authors of this timely book and their research on social progress. You will discover numerous non profits in which you’d like to donate. Good luck paring them down to what you can afford. They are all worthy!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah H

    Inspiring and practical ways to help make peoples' lives better. Inspiring and practical ways to help make peoples' lives better.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Again, Kristof and Wudun have written a powerful book. I so appreciate their guidance in the field of giving.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Petesea

    Good anecdotes and inspiring portrayals throughout, but I really enjoyed the lists and calls to action at the end of the book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cherie Palmer

    Fascinating stories of life transformations by both the giver and the receiver. After reading this you will be both informed and empowered the next time you see human suffering, and wonder what you can do!

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