You can read Peter Grant’s book as a series of university lectures on the trade of giving or you can use it – the author suggests both options – as a reference book in the day-to-day work of a grantmaker. This is definitely how I will use it. It will be added to a collection of titles that I need frequently in my work, such as Joel Orosz’s The Insider’s Guide to Grantmaking – a book Grant refers to several times – or Gregor von Schnurbein and Karsten Timmer’s management handbook for grantmaking foundations Die Förderstiftung: Strategie – Führung – Management.
The Business of Giving, as the title already implies, considers social investing, giving or grantmaking as a profession. It is a solid contribution to the professionalization of the field. Grant starts out with ‘A Short History of Philanthropy’ (Chapter 2), defines giving as a business process (1 Risk Management, 2 Operations Management, 3 Performance Management) and then explores the actual management of social investments. He steers the reader through a variety of opinions and schools of thought on all these issues.