Journalists with Forbes and CNN recently got together and surveyed the world’s most recognized thought leaders on the subject of philanthropy. They asked about which books could provide a “deep read” on the art of giving to others and the process of helping humanity.

Here are some of the books that made the elite selection list:


Helping the Good Do Better

This book is written by Thomas F. Sheridan who is considered the top “white hat” lobbyist in Washington. He lobbies Congress for programs that will help the poor, take care of the environment, improve education for disadvantaged children and much more. The insights provided by Sheridan impart in-depth knowledge on how real change is truly made to happen within the framework of government and those with the power to pull the right levers. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how philanthropy really works.


The Generosity Network

Authors Jennifer McCrea, Jerry C. Walker and Karl Weber provide a guide that explains the process and “art” of establishing an organized effort to serve any kind of worthy cause. The book provides a fresh perspective on how to overcome the monumental challenge of fundraising in an environment where money is scarce. Better yet, The Generosity Network outlines a way to handle the rigorous tasks of “doing good” while avoiding the stress, discouragement and burnout that comes with the territory.


The Billionaire Who Wasn’t

This tells the story of how self-made billionaire Chuck Feeney gave away every penny he earned to charity. Feeney made his fortune as the founder of Duty Free Shoppers. He earned billions but then secretly transferred all his wealth into a foundation he created for helping disadvantaged people. He told no one about what he did. It’s an inspirational story that shows that not all moguls are greedy money grubbers but warm-hearted people who truly care about others.


The Gospel of Wealth

One of the most famous billionaires and philanthropists in American history, Andrew Carnegie, made what is the equivalent of billions today. In the second half of his career, he spent most of his time giving away his vast fortune. It was not an easy task because his net worth was so large. Nonetheless, Carnegie gave away 90% of his wealth before he died.