Book Review

The Business of Giving

Authors: Peter Grant
Published by Palgrave MacMillan
Reviewed by Charles Keidan, Director, Pears Foundation


Giving is big business but, more often than not, it is done badly.
This book argues that how one gives is central to the impact of charitable giving. The processis not well understood and Grant's work draws attention to the shortcomings of existing practice.
He opens with a stinging depiction of the status quo: under-trained staff, few external pressures and a lack of best practice standards, among other drawbacks. Grant's book is a thus remedial work - a course on philanthropy, grant-making and social investment.
The sections on social investment as a business process cover issues of risk, operations and performance management while the sections on managing social investment cover programme design, assessment, selection and post-design management. Grant draws thoughtfully on business insights and experience while avoiding either simplistically aping business methods or condemning them out of hand.

The Business of Giving (Palgrave Macmillan, £26) by Peter Grant, Lecturer in Voluntary Sector Management at Cass