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The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving


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A detailed guide to a groundbreaking approach to giving--in essence, the "moneyball" for philanthropy--that ensures charitable dollars do the most good possible.

Table of Contents

Preface 1. Overview of Relentless Monetization 2. Translating Mission Into Mission-Relevant Outcomes 3. Basics of Monetizing Outcomes 4. Those Pesky Counterfactuals 5. The Meaning of Present Discounted Values 6. Examples of Metrics by Outcome 7. Examples of Metrics by Grant: Multi-Outcome Interventions 8. Completing the Analytical Traverse: Small-Bore Benefit/Cost Analysis 9. Key Generalities: Q&A 10. Six Purposes 11. Prominent Metrics Systems 12. Reflections on Risk 13. Conclusion Appendix A: Counterfactual Complications: Shared Responsibility Appendix B: Choices Between More and Less Risky Initiatives Appendix C: Calculating a Program's Expected Well-being Impact Notes Index

About the Author

Michael M. Weinstein is the senior vice president of The Robin Hood Foundation and holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served on the editorial board of The New York Times and as its economics columnist during the 1990s. He was the founding director of the Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies while holding the Paul A. Volcker Chair in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is president and founder of W.A.D. Financial Counseling, Inc., a nonprofit foundation providing free financial counseling to poor families. Ralph M. Bradburd is professor of economics and the David A. Wells Professor of Political Economy at Williams College. He has served as a consultant for international organizations such as the World Bank and USAID, HHS, the Federal Trade Commission, other U.S. federal and state-level government agencies, and the nonprofit Robin Hood Foundation. He is the incoming chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Williams College.


The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving is a must read for all 'do-gooders,' including the donors who give money and the nonprofits that spend it. This book is a true gem. -- Sheldon Danziger, University of Michigan The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving takes relentless monetization to its limits in a relentlessly smart, subtle, and readable manner. Even philanthropists hesitant to go the whole way will find their judgment greatly improved by the book's rigorous analysis. -- Paul Brest, former president, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and coauthor of Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy Michael M. Weinstein and Ralph M. Bradburd show how using the smart economics of cost-benefit analysis can allow social sector leaders to measure the effectiveness of their projects and make choices with their limited resources. This is a must read for those leaders and active board members and donors. -- Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School This book is a critical contribution to philanthropy. It provides a data-driven framework so we can ensure that our good intentions translate into great impact, and it raises the bar for how we make our giving decisions, encouraging us all to make the most of what we have to give! -- Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, founder and chairman of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and author of Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World This is a great book for both nonprofit funders and nonprofit leaders. Its 'relentless monetization' concept-if widely deployed-would dramatically boost the impact of the independent sector. Now let's get to work and act on this great advice. -- Mark Tercek, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy and author of Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature [Weinstein & Bradburd] provide detailed guidance on how to make choices that have real, positive impact in the world. -- Tim Sullivan Harvard Business Review

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