8 Books About Giving For Your Summer Reading List

June 18, 2014



By JoAnn Turnquist
President and CEO, Central Carolina Community Foundation


Although the heat of summer has descended on us, the summer season officially begins this Saturday, June 21st. Summer activities lend themselves toward relaxation. It’s the perfect time to plunge into your reading list, learn about a new subject, or teach your children about a new topic they might not learn in school.  If giving and philanthropy are your topics of interest, we have the scoop on the books you should add to your summer reading list.


For Adults


1)      29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life:  At 33 years old, author Cami Walker was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, sending her into a daily battle of depression, anxiety, and a struggle to enjoy life. While seeking a remedy, she discovered an African medicine for women: give to others for 29 days. 29 Gifts is the story of how a month of giving to others changed Walker’s, and others’, lives.

2)      Giving 2.0 Written by Laura Arrillaga-Andressen, founder of Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund, this book explores how individuals can take their giving to the next level, no matter their age or income level. Through dozen of stories, Arrillaga-Andressen shows readers how to use the many resources available to them to reach their fullest giving potential.

3)      Give A Little: How Your Small Donation can Transform Our World: We’ve heard before that “every little bit counts,” when giving to the causes we support. In this book, Wendy Smith proves why this phrase is true. Smith explores the outcomes organizations are seeing through modest and small donations, specifically in the areas of hunger, health, education, and technology. Give A Little proves how we have the opportunity to change the world, without breaking our banks.  

4)      Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back:  Today’s young professionals have greater earning power and are more educated than previous generations. In this informative book, Kimberly Palmer answers many financial questions facing this generation. Our favorite part of the book however, is Part 3 where Palmer discusses how young professionals can incorporate philanthropy into their lives.

5)       The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary ChangeAn inspiring story chronicling author Adam Braun’s journey to lead a successful and significant life. Braun was in the midst of a successful Wall Street career when he became inspired to give more. What started with $25, ended with the founding of Pencils of Promise, an organization that has now built more than 200 schools around the world. Every inspiring philanthropist can learn something new through this story.


For Children

6)      I Can Help: This book by David Hyde Costello is a great introduction to giving for younger children. Using fun animals and brightly colored illustrations, the theme of helping others in need is beautifully introduced with this story. 

7)      The Giving Tree: Yes, it’s a classic and one you have probably read before. But this unforgettable story is well loved for a reason. Reread or introduce this story by Shel Silverstein to your family- its message is sure to reach everyone slightly differently as they progress through life. 

8)      The Quiltmaker’s Gift: Written by Jeff Brumbeau, this enduring story tells of a quiltmaker who helps a selfish king learn that giving is the secret to happiness. A heartwarming tale that is a great conversation starter about values and giving with your children.  


We hope these books make a “splash” in your summer as you relax and enjoy time with family!


Previous CCCF Book Recommendations:

·         How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist
·          A Kid’s Guide to Giving  
·         The Giving Book
·         Just a Little Bit  


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