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Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World
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Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  2,750 Ratings  ·  453 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 September 4th 2007 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2007)
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Sep 07, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: never-finished
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
Sep 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Oct 18, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Oct 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
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,, so I was spared the hassle of photocopying the resources section.

What I enjoyed most in the book were the individual stories
Oct 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed that Mr. Clinton is not a better writer. Everyone knows that giving & volunteering are important & vital to our world today. However, this book is not what is going to convince this generation or the next (or the last one for that matter) to give. It is a good resource list if you are looking for organizations to be a part of or to research for future giving; but Mr. Clinton's constant use of "I" and "my foundation" and "Hillary" and "Mr. Bush" make for a pretty monoto ...more
Sep 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: presidential
I really, really wanted to like this book. I wanted to be inspired. But it just read like a long, boring list of non-profits. After three chapters I started to skip around in the book, picking pages at random. And they all seemed the same. Bill Clinton knows so-and-so, who runs non-profit A, that helps people in South Africa...Bill Clinton knows so-and-so, who runs non-profit B, that helps people in Cambodia...Bill Clinton knows so-and-so, who runs non-profit C, that helps people in China.

Not in
Jun 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
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!
Sep 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
I was excited to read this book as I was looking for a little inspiration to move me back into community service, but so far I have not found it. I'm 3 chapters into it and I think Bill has used the word "I" 500 times. I am finding myself marking questions in the columns that express my frustration with his foundation, his emphasis on certain points and his wording of things. I may have become partially swayed by the recent Newsweek article which talked about the book being WJC's attempt at a le ...more
Jack Stevenson
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 11, 2007 rated it liked it
So Bill Clinton is a Rhodes scholar, Oxford educated, blah blah blah...but the book reads like a fifth grader wrote it.

I picked it up expecting to understand more about how the NGO world works. Instead, I get a litany of names and organizations that he's worked with.

The reason I gave the book three stars is that it's all true. NGOs play a huge role in today's world - and are under appreciated. Clinton and Papa Bush have made huge strides in bringing this to light. There is a LONG way left to go
Cher Lynne
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Made me want to read more about the givers.
Jan 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.

Apr 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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,
Jan 02, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Nov 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The web site for this book is awesome, and has links to every organization (organized by chapter in the book) that he mentions. Click here to check it out

I'm learning about tons of really good organizations, and ways for everyone to help. I love how this is organized (by how you can give, meaning by time, money, things, etc).

If you don't take time to read the book, at least check out the site. I don't think I will finish listening, as I'm not as interested in hearing all his examples. But I'm e
May 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Sep 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: green, non-fiction
If you're interested in philanthropy, this is a good place to start. Though it seems like a bit of a run-on sentence with the chronicling of 1,000s of charitable deeds and projects, it was heartwarming to read about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I got weepy just like I do when watching that darn Extreme Home Makeover show.

If you are in the business of non-profit, the book also gives some helpful tips for how to expand and become more successful.

Even if you loath the idea of Bill
Oct 02, 2007 rated it liked it
A straightforward, easy read. Clinton really does provide some inspiring examples of giving, and he covers so many different categories (not just donating money but also giving time and skills, convincing governments to give, etc.) that there's something for everybody.
To be frank, reading it didn't change my current behavior: as I'm in grad school, I don't feel I have significant excess time or money to give right now, beyond what I've already been contributing before I read the book. But once I
Sep 10, 2007 rated it liked it
Arg. I want to give this book 2 stars because it was SO BORING, but I feel guilty because it is about philanthropy, which is obviously important. I am rationalizing the 3 stars because maybe it will be a good reference book. In fairness, I did learn about some organizations and philanthropists I had not heard of, and that was very interesting, but the writing was dull dull dull. It really felt like just before page 1 someone asked Bill Clinton, "Can you name a zillion organizations to which I co ...more
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
It was tough for me to rate this book--I came away with a few good book and article recommendations as well as some intersting tidbits and great web sites for charitable causes. The book itself is simply written, and I got through the first hundred pages rather quickly. I then read that a portion of the proceeds from the book go to charity. It seems to me that all the proceeds from a book called Giving should have gone to charity, and this thought clouded my mind as I trudged through the rest of ...more
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
10/14/07 - Just finished listening to this great book by President Clinton. It has already motivated me to start giving. If you listen to the audio version, you can browse through the resources mentioned in the book at this link

I applaud President Clinton's initiatives worldwide through the Clinton Foundation

I would recommend this book.
Nov 04, 2007 rated it liked it
This book is great if you need some inspiration. What it really lacks is a need to be a full-length book. It is essentially a collection of 3 paragraph descriptions of people and business/organizations who are doing right by the world. I think that is fantastic, but it is hard to keep up the momentum to finish the book. I ended up putting it down at about the 1/2 way point, and I plan on picking it up when I have time here or there.
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Just finished reading Clinton's book. I really enjoyed it because he offers many different ways we can contribute to make a difference in our world. It's more than just donating money to a good cause.

I'm currently taking a course on grant writing and philanthropy, so it was quite relevant to that class and what we are learning there.

If you want to learn of different ways you can help others, this is an excellent book to read.
Sep 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
Strongest chapter was 7, "Gifts that Keep on Giving" and it focused on Heifer International. It was strongest because Clinton stayed on topic instead of coming across as a little random. The other chapters bounced between examples of mega-rich people who have done good, lots of name dropping, and repeated "but you can do something like this too." What is really good about the book is the wealth of information (websites, etc) found in the Resources section.
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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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