In This Review

How We Give Now: A Philanthropic Guide for the Rest of Us
How We Give Now: A Philanthropic Guide for the Rest of Us
By Lucy Bernholz
MIT Press, 2021, 240 pp
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In this thought-provoking meditation on philanthropy in the United States, Bernholz argues that such giving is an admirable American tradition but also a response to citizens’ deep and abiding skepticism about the role of government and the consequent inadequacy of public programs. The author highlights new questions for philanthropy in the digital age: For example, should individuals donate their genetic data in the name of medical research, despite privacy concerns, and should they favor nonprofits over commercial gene-sequencing companies? Economists will search in vain for data on who provides charitable donations and for what kinds of activities. But they will not search in vain for novel ideas; the book does not lack for them.