Reviews and Press

“This book shows you how to improve the impact of your charitable contributions, their effect in improving welfare where improvement is most badly needed.  United Way will not like it;   your alma mater will not like it;  your local scout troop and the church that sponsors it will not like it; and maybe the hospital that saved your life won’t like it.  But among the ill and the hungry of the world, it may help millions to live longer and healthier if enough people read this book.”

–Thomas C. Schelling, Nobel Laureate in Economics, Harvard University and University of Maryland, Emeritus


“Read this book before you make your next donation to charity!  It could make your donation thousands of times more effective.  Philanthropy needs reinventing, and that reinvention will have to start with more thoughtful donors.  Friedman’s engagingly written book will help you to become one of those more thoughtful donors.”

–Peter Singer, author of The Life You Can Save, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University


Reinventing Philanthropy gives voice to a new generation of individual donors.  Not everyone will follow Friedman’s specific path.  But if all follow his lead to focus on impact and think bang-for-buck, individual donors will not only reinvent philanthropy, they will change the world.”

–Katherina M. Rosqueta, Founding Executive Director, Center for High Impact Philanthropy


“In our increasingly interconnected world, charitable giving has the potential to save and improve millions of lives. Reinventing Philanthropy is an important read for anyone who wants to spend their money wisely and have it make the greatest impact. Filled with practical advice and compelling case studies, the book gives philanthropists a clear roadmap for how to donate more effectively—and, ultimately, achieve transformational results.”

–Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF


“Like the philosopher Peter Singer, Eric Friedman is a radical utilitarian. But while Singer focuses on how much a person should give—almost everything—Friedman concentrates on what one should give to.  He argues that the only legitimate objective of philanthropy is maximizing the wellbeing of humanity, regardless of one’s personal passions.  Even readers who are not prepared to entirely abandon their passions will be pressed to rethink their giving, and they will also pick up some tips for good grantmaking.”

–Paul Brest, Stanford University, former president, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and co-author, Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy


“This book will push you to think hard about why you really give: is it to feel good, or to truly change the world as effectively as you can? If you agree with everything in the book, this likely means you didn’t read it very carefully. Lots of controversial ideas to challenge conventions. The world will be a better place if more people take this hard-nosed analytical approach to philanthropy. What we need now is better ongoing analysis of organizations that helps donors act on the ideals put forward here.”

–Dean Karlan, Professor at Yale University, President of Innovations for Poverty Action, co-author of More than Good Intentions: How a New Economics is Helping to Solve Global Poverty


“The most funding often goes to the issues with the best PR groups, with the most scary pictures or with the cutest animals. That needs to change. We need to reinvent philanthropy, to focus on getting the most bang for the buck. Eric Friedman shows you how to think smarter and do better.”

–Bjørn Lomborg, adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world


“The norms of charitable giving are too much ‘heart’ and not enough ‘head.’  Reinventing Philanthropy seeks to balance the two, exploring techniques for more effective giving. If you’re looking to become a more effective donor, this book is a must-read.”

–William MacAskill, co-founder of the Centre for Effective Altruism and founder and president of 80,000 Hours, an ethical careers advisory service

Media Coverage

Time Magazine online, “Philanthropists of the World: You’re Doing It Wrong!”  Article by Dan Kadlec on June 26, 2013.

New York Times, “Two Paths for Charitable Giving: From the Head or From the Heart.”  June 28, 2013 (print edition on June 29).

Portland Book Review.  An op-ed by Eric Friedman titled “Why Philanthropy Needs Reinventing.”  July 1, 2013.

Hilborn Charity eNews. An op-ed by Eric Friedman titled “Why Philanthropy Needs Reinventing.”  July 4, 2013.

WCHE 1520, West Chester, Pennsylvania.  “Morning Magazine.”  Live on air interview with Doug Stirling, July 10, 2013.

Cause Talk Radio EP59: “Reinventing Philanthropy — Choosing Impact Over Emotion.”   Interview with Megan Strand.  Also reposted on Selfish Giving.  July 25, 2013.

Center for High Impact Philanthropy Blog.  “Summer Social Impact Reading.” August 7, 2013.

The Philanthropy Journal.  “Why Philanthropy Needs Reinventing.”  An opinion piece by Eric Friedman.  August 26, 2013.  “Practical Advice for Donors – and Nonprofit Fundraisers.”  A review by Peter Lowy.  August 29, 2013.

So What Faith.  “Review of Reinventing Philanthropy.”  Review by Greg Smith.  September 2, 2013.

Chronicle of Philanthropy.  “Donors Should Give Based on Need, Not Personal Interests or Whims.”  Op-ed by Eric Friedman.  September 8, 2013.

Jerusalem Post.  “Into the Fray: Failed Philanthropy.”  September 12, 2013.

Giving Gladly.  “Book Review: Reinventing Philanthropy.”  Review by Julia Wise.  September 16, 2013.

Leading Business Books.  “How to Give More Effectively.”  Review by John Gibbs.  September 17, 2013.

The NonProfit Times.  “The Elements of What Donors Want to Do.”  September 17, 2013.

Bayesian Investor Blog.  “Reinventing Philanthropy.”  Review by Peter McCluskey.  September 25, 2013.

The Life You Can Save Blog.  “Reinventing Philanthropy.”  A discussion of the book by Peter Singer.  September 26, 2013.

WILS 1320 am, Lansing, MI.  “Capital City Update.”  Live on-air interview with Michael Cohen.  September 26, 2013.

The Centre for Effective Altruism Blog.  “Creating a World with More Effective Charitable Giving.”  Guest post by Eric Friedman.  October 1, 2013.

GiveWell Blog.  “Book about giving by GiveWell supporter Eric Friedman.”  Short post about the book.  October 2, 2013.

Intelligent Philanthropy Blog.  “Philanthropists ar Giving Ineffectively:  Review of Eric Friedman’s Book Reinventing Philanthropy.”  Review by Paul Penley.  October 2, 2013.

Forbes.  “Why I Don’t Give to Holiday Toy Drives Each December.”  Article by Eric Friedman. October 8, 2013.

Stanford Social Innovation Review.  “The Promise of Effective Altruism.”  Blog entry by Paul Brest.  October 28, 2013.

Luxury Black Book.  “The Failure of Common Charitable Giving Strategies.”  Article by Eric Friedman.  November 4, 2013.

New York Times, “How to Choose a Charity Wisely.”  November 7, 2013 (print edition on November 8).

Huffington Post.  “Why Philanthropy Needs Reinventing.”  Article by Eric Friedman.  November 12, 2013.

Huffington Post.  “Picking the Best Charity for Typhoon Haiyan Relief.”  Article by Eric Friedman.  November 16, 2013.

Stanford Social Innovation Review.  “The Elitist Philanthropy of So-Called Effective Altruism.”  Blog entry by Ken Berger and Robert Penna.  November 25, 2013. (Read the comments below the blog entry too–it is a spirited debate.  A response piece by Will MacAskill is here.)

Ottawa Citizen.  “Why I won’t donate to typhoon relief efforts.”  Op-ed by Eric Friedman.  November 27, 2014.

U-T San Diego.  “Four Tips for Better Giving.”  Article by Karla Peterson.  November 29, 2013.

WABE 90.1, Atlanta, GA.  One-on_one with Steve Goss.  Interview with Steve Goss.  December 18, 2013.  “Make sure your donation gets to the people who need it.”  Quoted in an article by Dennis O’Reilly.  December 20, 2013.

Men’s Health.  “Holiday Movies That Make You a Better Man: What you can really learn from these Christmas classics.”  Article by Denny Watkins.  December 24, 2013.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy.  “2013 Highlights: The Year in Books.”  December 26, 2013.

The Washington Post Wonkblog.  “The Wonkblog Guide to Holiday Giving.”  Article by Dylan Matthews.  December 26, 2013.

Garland Journal.  “9 Surprising Tips to Improve Your Charitable Giving.”  Article by Eric Friedman.  December 29, 2013.

Huffington Post.  “Open Letter to Those Who Don’t Give to Charity.” Article by Eric Friedman.  December 30, 2013.

Christian Post. “A Donor’s Open Letter to Charities: Stop Making it Difficult for Donors.” Article by Eric Friedman.  January 14, 2014.

Time Magazine online.  “Why the Rich Aren’t Good at Giving.”  Article by Dan Kadlec.  January 20, 2014.

Vancouver Sun.  “Charitable dollars can do more: New book: An uncomfortable look at where our financial donations can best be spent.”  Review by Don Cayo.  January 24, 2014.

Eunoia.  “Reinventing Philanthropy by Eric Friedman.”  Review by Darren McKee.  January 31, 2014.

LA Times.  “Putting Your Charity Dollars Where they Matter Most.”  Op-ed by Eric Friedman.  January 31, 2014.

Alliance Magazine.  Review by Timothy Ogden.  March 3, 2014.

USA Today.  “Pink ribbons, ice buckets: Any way to choose a charity?”  Quoted in an article by Kim Painter.  October 5, 2014.

CFA Institute: Enterprising Investor. “Finance Shouldn’t Think Small.”  Discussed in an article by Will Ortel. April 21, 2015.