Give a Little: How Your Small Donations Can Transform Our World

Give a Little: How Your Small Donations Can Transform Our World

by Wendy Smith


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"With open hearts and open hands, we gave what we could, and a little became a lot." —from Give a Little

Dimes destroyed polio. Five bucks can beat malaria. Give a Little: How Your Small Donations Can Transform Our World not only contains remarkable, inspiring stories of how small donations are making an extraordinary difference in the lives of millions both here in the United States and around the world, but also lays out where and how to start giving . . . today.

Together, ordinary Americans have far more transformational power than any government or big foundation. In 2007, giving by American individuals amounted to $229 billion—that is, 82 times the amount the Gates Foundation gave that same year. Simple, inexpensive things—a water filter, a bike, an irrigation pump, a bed net, a goat—cause a ripple effect that lifts a whole family, a town, and, astonishingly, even a nation out of poverty.

Inspired by Smith's twenty years in the nonprofit sector, Give a Little shows how easily we can dip into our pockets and, with just a few dollars, change the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401323400
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 11/03/2009
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Wendy Smith has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years in direct services, program administration, development, consulting and board membership; she is a Certified Fundraising Professional. She also has a master's degree in education and a bachelor's degree in marketing. To write Give a Little and pursue its promotion and mission , she has taken an indefinite leave from her job as the Director of Foundation and Government Relations at Building with Books, an international organization that constructs schools in developing countries and runs youth development programs in the US. She is lives in Highland Park, Illinois, with her two daughters.

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

part 1 how and why we give

chapter 1 Doers and Donors 3

chapter 2 Four Big Secrets About Giving 11

chapter 3 Ripple Effect Giving 27

chapter 4 Ending Extreme and Cyclical Poverty 33

part 2 hunger

chapter 5 Filling Bowls with Small Gifts 43

chapter 6 KickStart 51

chapter 7 Heifer International 61

chapter 8 Feeding America 74

part 3 health

chapter 9 The Cycle of Poverty and Poor Health 87

chapter 10 Asthma Care on Wheels 95

chapter 11 The Big Three 106

chapter 12 Path 120

part 4 education

chapter 13 Education and Poverty 133

chapter 14 Developments in Literacy 138

chapter 15 Safe Passage 157

chapter 16 Ounce of Prevention Fund 167

part 5 infrastructure, tools, and technology

chapter 17 Bridges, Bikes, and Buckets (of Clean Water)! 181

chapter 18 Bridges to Prosperity 186

chapter 19 Potters for Peace 203

chapter 20 World Bicycle Relief 224

part 6 giving, lending, and clicking for good

chapter 21 The Multi-Front Attack 237

chapter 22 Social Investment and Fair Trade Purchasing 244

chapter 23 In a League of Its Own 262

chapter 24 Sixteen More Ways to Make Waves 270

appendix a Organization Contact Information 299

appendix b Charity Navigator's Approach to Evaluating Nonprofit Financial Health 305

Author's notes 311

Endnotes 317

Acknowledgments 343

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Give a Little: How Your Small Donations Can Transform Our World 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Small_Spender More than 1 year ago
My 25 - 50 dollar donations to a couple things each year gave me more a sense of guilt than a feeling of contribution. How could anyone or anything REALLY benefit from such a small donation? When I happened upon this title "Give a Little" I thought yep, thats me. But after reading just the first couple of pages I was utterly inspired. My small donations were adding up to a MASSIVE sum. I suddenly felt empowered by my small donations, not guilty. Moreover, Wendy Smith takes all the worry and guess work out of donating. She leads the reader to the most efficient and beneficial charities in the world, assuring that you'll get the most "bang for your donated buck". I am very thankful I came across "Give a little". I am now quite sure we CAN change the world. Every family across the globe needs to have this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When it comes to philanthropy, I am as cynical as you can get. I did not support the victims of the Tsunami or Katerina. Why? I was sure most of my contribution would be diluted by overhead and/or misuse of funds. Yet, I'm not a piker. Historically, I have given generously. I support my alma mater, any friend or relative who hits me up, and charities that support causes/research for subjects that have personally effected me. Do I really do my duediligence? No. Do I really believe my donations make a difference? Not sure. Why do I give then? Because no one can say I don't. Like I said I'm a cynic. GIVE A LITTLE by Wendy Smith is a game-changer for me. Not only does Ms. Smith debunk the myth that the Bill Gates' of the world are the major donors -- they're not. Every day American families provide almost two-thirds of all donations to charity and those donations are less than $250.00. While there are so many 'good causes' out there, Ms. Smith makes a convincing case that our first dollars should go to ending poverty. Several years ago in Sports Illustrated, Rick Reilly wrote that ten dollars bought a mosquito net and prevented a child from malaria in Africa. Ms. Smith takes this several steps further and shows that saving one child creates a ripple effect that impacts postively not only the child and his or her family, but an entire community. Done often enough the effect can be exponential. In her book, she clearly outlines the causes of poverty and shows how we -- every day ma and pa citizens -- can transform the world thru small donations to dozens of organizations that provide goods as mundane as mosquito nets, water pumps, water filters whose impact ripple. I challenge you to read GIVE A LITTLE and not come away with a new mindset about your charitable giving. And... not be inspired to give small donations to many of the worthy organizations profiled in her book. A MUST READ highly recommended by a former cynic.
lindapanzo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This wonderful book shows how a small donation to the right organization can make a world of difference in bringing clean water, health benefits, or other lifesaving measures both here and around the world. My favorite charities are my local food bank and also The Libri Foundation (which provides kids books to rural public libraries) but I'm always on the lookout for other worthwhile causes.During the initial part of the book, Smith explains how a large portion of charitable giving is actually made by Americans in small amounts, such as $10 or $20. For instance, after the 2004 tsunami, 45 percent of the total given (or $2.78 billion) for tsunami efforts was provided by ordinary Americans. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett may get more publicity for donating less, as a total, but the bulk of charitable efforts are made by regular people.The bulk of the book, however, offers a fascinating look at organizations, often little-known ones, and all the good works they do, along with information about what a small donation can do. I've never heard of such groups as World Bicycle Relief or Potters for Peace (and dozens of others) but they save lives every day.It's said that charitable giving offers health benefits to the person doing the giving. I think it's possible that reading about good works and places to perhaps donate a small amount might do the same. Excellent book that gave me a lot of new ideas for worthwhile charities.
GabinaFS More than 1 year ago
Give A Little: How Our Small Donations Can Transform Our World By Wendy Smith Everyone at some time has given money to a specific charity of his/her choice or a cause that they are passionate about. Some people even give monthly donations to organizations that help provide food and medicine to a child or family in a different country. But where does the money really go and who is profiting from your donation? Are the people that you are trying to help really getting the money for food, medicine and clothing or are the administrators of this organization getting most of it and those in need not very much? In her book Give A Little, author Wendy Smith provides the reader with the tools necessary to answer not only these questions but which charities, which organizations and which areas your donations will help the most and how to choose the ones that are the most reputable. The book addresses four major issues related to poverty today: hunger, health, education, and access to tools, technology and infrastructure. The purpose of the book is to help the reader learn the facts that will empower you to make wise and intelligent philanthropic decisions. She begins by describing the four big secrets of giving which are: Americans are extraordinary givers, affordable donations do make a difference, giving changes You as well as the world and the millennium project that I will now explain. This project has eight goals that the author states are achievable. These goals are targeted to help eliminate poverty and improving prospects for those living in the poorest nations. Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women Goal 4: Reduce child morality Goal 5: improve maternal health Goal 6: Combat AIDS/HIV, malaria, and other diseases Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development. Who and where these goals will target and how they will benefit everyone you will have to read for yourself. In order to ensure that your donations go far the author then goes on to explain how the ripple effect stretches your donation and how that works. You affordable donations will create as she states, ripples of positive change. 1, Positive changes in the lives of those receiving the donation 2. Long term, demonstrated, positive outcomes that are measurable 3. Generate high returns 4. Builds self-sufficiency Just how this works in detail you need to read pages 28-30 to learn about the ripple effect for yourself. The main thrust of the book is to help the reader learn which charities or organizations might be considered for donations and how to choose the right one. Let's start with those that deal with Hunger, then Health, Education and finally Technology. Eliminating poverty and hunger are the author's main focus. How do we do that? By contributing to the right organizations that will help people to get food and stay healthy. Programs like KickStart that provides needed technology to help farmers and Kids Café that provides a program that helps youths develop and maintain positive lifestyles. Students are able to participate in quality out of school experiences, which provide opportunities to improve their academic, life skills and more. Read Chapter 8 and learn more about this program and how you can become part of it. That is only one program described in that chapter there
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wilmetter More than 1 year ago
Great book to make us count our blessings and see how much good we - the little people - can do with fairly small cntributions. Wonderful stories of how real people can make a difference to problems that seem unending and without solutions. Extremely readable, very interesting. My sister in law bought 7 copies to give as gifts! Give it a try!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the message - empowers everyday people. Perfect holiday gift book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago