February 12, 2016

Give Smart: Getting Started

Just getting started with your philanthropy? Our resources will help you identify your philanthropic goals and provide practical advice about how to take your first steps down the path toward effective philanthropy.

Starting Your Philanthropic Journey
Becoming a more effective philanthropist is a journey. Our guide helps you diagnose where you are on this path, offers targeted questions to answer, and practical steps to take for each stage, using real-life examples.

Finding Your Philanthropy Compass
With so many deserving causes in the world, getting clarity on how to translate your beliefs and values into philanthropic goals and strategies can feel impossible. This toolkit—complete with worksheets and checklists—can help.

Getting Started Resource Library
Looking for a guide on how to create more effective philanthropy today? Use this short document to find key resources for getting started.

Give Smart: The Book
Giving away money is easy. Getting ever-improving results for your money is a lot harder. Confronting six essential questions can help you achieve the success you want.

Philanthropy, a Labor of Love: Nine Donors Share Inspirational Wisdom
For many philanthropists, tackling society's toughest problems instills a profound sense of meaning and satisfaction. Here's what that means for nine donors.

Five Common Traps Philanthropists Should Avoid
Want to get further with your philanthropy faster? Leapfrog over five traps that philanthropists often fall into.

How Do I Work with My Family to Achieve High-Impact Philanthropy?
Getting the best possible results with your philanthropy and preserving important social bonds can sometimes require trade-offs. This guide helps you balance strategy while honoring your family relationships.

Crafting Your Legacy: A Cautionary Tale
Being clear about your values will make it much easier to achieve alignment with family, friends, advisors, and others around you. It will force differences of opinion to the surface and perhaps head off trouble down the road.

Frequently Asked Questions for Philanthropists

If you're facing big questions in your philanthropic journey, know that you're not alone. We've distilled guidance on some of the most frequently asked questions philanthropists have.


A Key Moment
After visiting Afghanistan, Connie Duckworth knew she had to do something.

Philanthropy Influence
A young Stanley Druckenmiller was inspired by the example of George Soros.

Deciding to Focus on Philanthropy
Darren Walker traded success on Wall Street for a career in philanthropy.

Nontraditional Philanthropy
Pierre Omidyar discusses his move away from a traditional foundation.


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The Bridgespan Group would like to thank the JPB Foundation for its generous and ongoing support of our knowledge creation and sharing work.