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Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  2,384 ratings  ·  413 reviews
Here, from Bill Clinton, is a call to action. Giving is an inspiring look at how each of us can change the world. First, it reveals the extraordinary and innovative efforts now being made by companies and organizations—and by individuals—to solve problems and save lives both “down the street and around the world.” Then it urges us to seek out what each of us, “regardless o ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 19th 2007 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Kip
As others have noted, Giving is inspiring in that it illuminates a myriad of ways that service can be offered, both in the United States and abroad. I also was heartened to find out how much particular individuals and groups are already doing to fight AIDS, eliminate hunger, improve literacy, mentor youth, provide jobs and job training, etc. And the variety of ways people approach problems is interesting to read about. Unfortunately, I'm often dismayed that there is so much suffering in the worl ...more
nella
Sep 21, 2007 nella rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: each of us who want to change the world
Shelves: favorites
The first book I've ever read that I found truly inspirational... or that made me want to cry on every page.

The stories of individuals making small differences in the world (read: large differences in their communities) gradually segue into those of contributors to multi-million dollar NGOs; I was in the last chapter when I realized that Bill was giving us the tools to go out there and make the differnce ourselves.

A lovely nonpartisan work by a man so obviously interested in changing the world f
...more
Jessica
It always pains me if I don't finish a book - which is rare. It was especially frustrating not to finish this book as I am greatly interested in giving back. Unfortunately the book wasn't what I expected. It was merely a string of anecdotes on different types of giving as opposed to concrete advice on how to going about fulfilling any of these yourself. Those who would most benefit are those who have no concept about giving back and how small actions can make big difference. There is a list of o ...more
Lisa
This book is an interesting quick overview of lots of ways you can get involved in "changing the world". On the good side, I think Clinton does an excellent job of giving readers just a glimpse of a wide range of ways they can volunteer with their time and skills to make a difference. The book covers everything from homelessness, to food banks, to tutoring, to giving your hair to cancer patients, to things you would never expect.

I also like that the book tries to look at some big picture stuff,
...more
Denise
Love him and loved it. It was really inspiring. I especially loved the chapter on way people give (or don't give!). Eye opening. Totally recommend it.

Lines I loved:

All over the world, intelligence and energy are evenly distributed, but opportunity, investment, and effective organizations aren’t.

Unbowed by Wangari Maathai

When I became president in 1993 there were only fifty sites on the WWW. When I left, there were 9 milllion.

It may be harder to give this money away than it was to make it.

Beyond
...more
Lauren
I very much liked the premise of this book: that you could, and should, give no matter who you are, where you are, what you have, or how rich you are. There is almost always something you have that someone else needs. I think I inherited from my grandfather an abhorrence to throwing things away. As a result, I am always looking for new ways to get rid of things I don't need without just trashing them. My favorite go-to places are the public libraries (books, magazines), battered women’s shelters ...more
Jessica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny
My friend gave me a copy for Christmas - signed and personalized by the author!!

Now that I'm done reading it, all I have to say is.....BC is the freakin' man. Well, that's not all I have to say I guess. I just think it's so awesome that someone as high profile as he is takes the time to research and put into words a 200 page thesis highlighting those around the world who give to others, on a large and small scale, and how people like you and me can give and make difference. And how it is imperat
...more
Diane Librarian
A very inspiring book about all the good that comes from donating your time, your skills and your money. There's an entire chapter devoted to one of my favorite charities, Heifer International, and Clinton has a full list of charities and other organizations at the back of the book. Luckily, all the info is also posted on his website, http://giving.clintonfoundation.org/, so I was spared the hassle of photocopying the resources section.

What I enjoyed most in the book were the individual stories
...more
Tommy
I can not remember the last time I read such a boring book. The idea of inspiring people to serve and help is an excellent one and I had high hopes for this book.

The major problem with this book is that it reads like a laundry list or a back patting/name dropping list. Bill Gates did this, Bono did this, I did this, and on and on and on. It wasn't inspiring in the least, was repetitive, and not horribly practical.

It didn't give ideas of things that any one person could do beyond the generic: "Th
...more
Katherine
I enjoyed many of the stories of giving in this book. Both wealthy people/ organizatioms and your average jane were spotlighted. only dislikes were the quantity of times he said "my foundation" (aka talked A LOT about his own good doing. ..admirable, certainly, but didn't need to be the focal point here) and how the last third or so was more political in health care reform and environment. I understand these are hot and portant topics (when it was written and still today) I had previously been i ...more
Heather
I was really disappointed by this. I generally like Clinton; I'm halfway through his autobiography and was really impressed with his storytelling in that.

However, as someone committed to social justice and public service, I didn't find much inspiring in this book. I appreciated the listing of resources, but I suppose I was hoping more for philosophical insight into giving. The last chapter partly appeased my desire, but really, there were only one or two parts of the book where I thought, "Oh!
...more
Bassel Damra
كتاب مؤثر , يهدف الى تعزيز مبادئ العطايا في نفوسنا لأنه بالرغم من التطور الحضاري بالعالم فانه فقط بالعطاء يمكننا ان نغير العالم الى الأفضل , يقول بيل غيتس وكما اقتبس كلينتون بالكتاب
" قد يكون وهب المال اكثر صعوبة من جمعه "
بالفعل , العطاء يحتاج الى دوافع قوية و نفوس شجاعة تستطيع ان تعطي للغير ماقد عانت بالفعل في اكتسابه !
Tarah
We listened to this on the way from MO to CA, and it definitely passed the time. AND I got to listen to Bill Clinton the whole time. Awesome. The book is worth listening to, all in all, but it's really just a litany of organizations, volunteer opportunities, or ideas for getting involved, etc. Not a bad thing, but I was hoping for something more substantive. On the other hand, I did feel really freaking hopeful after listening to this book, as it certainly gives you lots of examples of people do ...more
Mariefitriani
This book is truly inspiring... and it really is just about giving. It made me think of how many of us actually give back? The ideas that come from a child and the force of these ideas (and the person who started the charity) is truly amazing. We don't need to look far, or think big; it's the small steps that count, small steps that many many people can take together to help each community. I would love to be able to do the small stuff, that would make a lot of difference to as many people as po ...more
Jack Stevenson
I really like Bill Clinton, both as a person and for his politics, but I couldn't help but feel disappointed by this. I didn't think it was much more than a prolonged list of good deeds people had done, with a short concluding chapter that took a half-hearted stab at making a clear moral argument as to why you should give to charity. It was a nice enough read though. The segments which detailed the outstanding charitable contributions individuals had made were particularly enjoyable. I wouldn't ...more
Nandasiri Wanninayaka
I had the pleasure of reading Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World by former United States President Bill Clinton. The book was published in 2007. The book is of full of information about well managed community projects. Clinton has studied a lot of NGOs and INGOs that are in the field of community service and included them in his book. This is a good guide book for those who run NGOs. Those people can search the organizations mentioned in the book on the Internet and start partnering wit ...more
Kathleen
Fittingly, this book was a gift to me from someone who is practically a stranger. As a person who is about to embark on an adventure of founding my own nonprofit that hopes to foster a sense to giving in high school students, this book was wonderful. We all have so much to give weather it be our time, talents or money. I was inspired by the numerous examples of people giving of themselves to make this world a better place. I hope to continue to have such generously gifted people in my life.
Rich Baker
I barely remember Clinton's presidency. I was 18 when he left office and I kept up with almost no news in regards to politics back then, so I make no attempt to judge his book via his presidency. I remember reading his memoirs when I was in college, but this was a very different book. This book is essentially a big advertisement for NGOs (non-governmental organizations). It's also a guidebook on how to give back. He does an excellent job of clearly stating how people from a variety of background ...more
Lisa S.
Inspiring!! I loved learning about an organization called Kiva.org, as well as other organizations that were mentioned. I enjoyed learning about all the good and charitable works that are being done, silently by many. I gained a lot spiritually in reading this book, since I wasn't really a giving type of person as of late. I see how regular people can make a difference in the world. This book came at the right time in my life.
Kathleen
For a Christmas gift to my book group, I gave everyone a copy of this book. I admire Bill Clinton on many levels, and decided philanthropy was a good topic of discussion. At my suggestion, we each decided to donate $25 towards Kiva. 10 members - $250. Out of that gift, we have now funded over 50 loans to women worldwide! It's a gift that keeps on giving.
Sarah
I love you Bill! Mr. Clinton makes some great statements in this book and provides a lot of information about ways to make a difference. The nice thing he does is shows that despite your situation, you have something to contribute that is valuable. I would have rated this book higher if it flowed a little better instead of being so fragmented.
Marsha Baker
Ok everyone...Read this book!!! Regardless of your feelings towards Bill, it is absolutely inspirational, motivating and maybe even a bit life altering.
Jennifer Meffert
May 28, 2008 Jennifer Meffert is currently reading it
Lots of good info about non profit organizations and ngo's (that I hadn't heard of before) that do good in the world.
Sarah
It wasn't terrible. It was interesting to see how many people really want to do better for the world. The part I didn't like was that I thought it was about ordinary people, you and me. Clinton only barely highlighted them. Rather, he focused on people who had more means or connections to really do something. I wanted to see those who don't have much but give to others. The people most highlighted were business people, doctors, celebrities and even the government! Though it was inspiring nonethe ...more
Pamela
A book that explores all types of giving. Throughout the book Clinton highlights ways that you, the reader, can help in the particular area being discussed. Examples help give the book some direct understanding how volunteering or donations can help. Not only are disadvantaged people from around the world covered, but also small business, government and the environment. It's a worthwhile book, but sadly I found it dull. I had to struggle, push through just to finish the book. I knew if I put it ...more
Jessica (Books: A true story)
This book is also reviewed on my blog Books: A true story

What kind of evil person gives a book about charity one star? Me apparently. I think Giving was supposed to be a book but it was really one long, tedious list of all the charities Bill Clinton could think of. He would justskip from one story to the next so they all kind of ran together into a mesh of helping rural Chicago with micro loans in Bangladesh and someone won a peace prize. The writing was pretty awful. This whole book was just a
...more
Natalia
I was curious what Bill Clinton would have to say about philanthropy and volunteering, given how much I admire the Clinton Global Initiative, but this book is a dud.
- It's very short, and it is primarily a list of examples of organizations doing good work in various contexts. Not much in the way of real consideration of the hows and whys of people incorporating giving into their lives, more like "If you want to give money, here are some ways people make that work, if you want to give time, or ex
...more
Mscout
Truly inspiring. President Clinton outlines a diverse array of giving throughout the world. He includes people of all nations, races, ethnicities, ages and socio-economic backgrounds. While I am sure that the print version would urge one to action as well, the audio makes one want to run through a wall for someone else's benefit. I don't know what it is, he doesn't raise or overly inflate his voice, (and though polished, you can definitely tell that he is from Lil Rock)but he could probably get ...more
Daryl
Nov 30, 2008 Daryl rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Daryl by: I saw former President Clinton on a talk show, discussing the bo
Each holiday season, we often find ourselves giving to the Salvation Army, donating to a local homeless shelter or buying toys for impoverished children. But after the holiday season is finished, do you still continue to give? "Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World" by Bill Clinton is an excellent guide for those who want to give more. And the book not only addresses all the means of giving but also WHY we should give with examples of many people who have changed and improved the lives of ...more
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William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III) was the forty-second President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. He was the third-youngest president, older only than Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. He became president at the end of the Cold War, and is known as the first baby boomer president, as he was born in the period after World War II. He is the hu ...more
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