My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In Giving, Bill Clinton gives us a broad overview of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), non-profit groups that are organized around a specific common interest. The book covers NGOs at every level: large international groups, national groups, and small, community efforts. There are anecdotes covering many of the groups and the good they are doing to alleviate health, poverty, and political concerns around the globe.
The book is interesting in that it gives some insight into what these organizations are doing and can accomplish. There are stories about huge contributions and organizational efforts by the likes of Clinton himself, Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, and others. There are stories of individuals in the medical, business, and other industries who have donated time and money to causes around the globe and around the block. Others tell of ordinary people who give time and/or money to causes they care about. The stories are inspiring, and can open your eyes to the number of worthy causes that are out there, perhaps helping an individual who wants to help find the one cause they can be passionate about.
On the other side, the book can get a bit slow at times. It is basically anecdote after anecdote, and doesn’t really go into a lot of detail about the organizations or how exactly a person can get involved. At the same time, there is a list of the organizations at the end of the book (print editions) and the list is also available on the Clinton Foundation site, so if someone wanted to learn more, they can. There is a fair amount of time given to initiatives of the Clinton Foundation, but in fairness, those are the ones Clinton himself is most familiar with. The book is written in simple language and style, and Clinton is easy to listen to.
If you are looking for specific, detailed plans for getting involved in humanitarian work, this book doesn’t provide that. If you are interested in learning how many opportunities for giving exist around the world and perhaps finding inspiration for your own contributions, you just might find it here.
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