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Book reviews

Cover of Bill Gates biography with shattered glass

Book Review: The Bill Gates Problem

Deborah Doane 13 February 2024

For many working with philanthropy, there is always a twinge of discomfort. Philanthropy itself arises out of an unequal system where a few individuals are able to accrue far more wealth than they actually need, …


Post Capitalist Philanthropy: Healing wealth in the time of collapse

Vanessa Thomas 5 December 2023

Reviewed by Vanessa Thomas, Black Feminist Fund Post Capitalist Philanthropy by Alnoor Ladha and Lynn Murphy is a beautiful offering, at a time, when we all navigate a world on fire, in both literal and …


Giving Now: Accelerating human rights for all

Michael Seberich 5 December 2023

Reviewed by Michael Seberich, managing director, Wider Sense The basic idea of Patricia Illingworth’s book Giving Now shapes the conversation of modern philanthropy in the context of human rights. Observing that ‘human rights provide a …

Feminist Giving: Creating new frontiers in social change

Tsitsi Marylin Midzi 5 December 2023

Reviewed by Tsitsi Midzi, head of Transformative Partnerships & Philanthropy, Urgent Action Fund Africa As a passionate advocate for resourcing the Global South movements through a pan-African and feminist lens, I approached this book with …

Philanthropy Back to the Drawing Board – Shaping a Future Agenda by Rien van Gendt

Michael Seberich 9 October 2023

The Cambridge Dictionary defines the phrase ‘back to the drawing board’, as ‘back to the beginning of a process to start it again, because it is not working’. Everybody should listen when one of the …

A Philanthropist’s Guide to Giving: Asia-based insights from Asia Philanthropy Circle

Ingrid Srinath 5 September 2023

Reviewed by Ingrid Srinath, founder director, Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy, Ashoka University Asian philanthropists frequently lament the dominance of ‘western’ thinking and models in the sector and the lack of access to more …

Brazilian Elites and their Philanthropy: Wealth at the service of development

Marcos Kisil 6 June 2023 For Subscribers

Reviewed by Marcos Kisil, founder of IDIS Jessica Sklair’s book explores the philanthropy of Brazilian elites during a key period in recent Brazilian history, from Workers’ Party president Lula’s last term in 2008 to the …

Giving Back: How to Do Good, Better

Asif Afridi 7 March 2023 For Subscribers

Reviewed by Asif Afridi, deputy CEO of brap Derek Bardowell offers a fascinating, all-access, behind-the-scenes insight into how funding bodies and charities work with each other and some of the reasons why the social sector …

Towards Action: Islamic philanthropy for social justice in Indonesia

Ingrid Srinath 6 December 2022 For Subscribers

Reviewed by Ingrid Srinath, director for Social Impact and Philanthropy, Ashoka University The book provides a fascinating glimpse into the contemporary landscape of Islamic philanthropy in Muslim-majority Indonesia and seeks to answer the question of …

White Philanthropy: Carnegie Corporation’s ‘An American Dilemma’ and the making of a white world order

Rhodri Davies 6 September 2022 For Subscribers

Reviewed by Rhodri Davies, founder of Philanthropy Matters Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020 many organisations and institutions, including foundations and charities, declared their support for the aims of the Black Lives Matter …