The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving

Michael M. Weinstein and Ralph M. Bradburd

Columbia University Press

The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving

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Pub Date: May 2013

ISBN: 9780231158367

176 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $27.95£24.00

Pub Date: May 2013

ISBN: 9780231535243

176 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $26.99£23.00

The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving

Michael M. Weinstein and Ralph M. Bradburd

Columbia University Press

The Robin Hood Foundation is a charitable organization focused on alleviating poverty in New York City. Michael M. Weinstein is the foundation's senior vice president. In that role he developed its metrics-based approach, called "relentless monetization," to ensure that the money the foundation receives and grants is used most effectively. Ralph M. Bradburd has served as long-time consultant to Robin Hood on matters of metrics.

In this book Weinstein and Bradburd show how to implement the Robin Hood approach and explain how any nonprofit organizations or philanthropic donor can use it to achieve the greatest benefit from every philanthropic dollar. Drawing on their extensive knowledge, the authors devote specific chapters to the difficulties most frequently encountered by donors trying to measure the benefits of their initiatives.. This book provides straightforward, targeted advice for funding "smart" nonprofit programs.

The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving is a must read for all 'do-gooders,' including the donors who give money and the nonprofits that spend it. This book is a true gem.

Sheldon Danziger, University of Michigan

The Robin Hood Rules for Smart Giving takes relentless monetization to its limits in a relentlessly smart, subtle, and readable manner. Even philanthropists hesitant to go the whole way will find their judgment greatly improved by the book's rigorous analysis.

Paul Brest, former president, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and coauthor of Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy

Michael M. Weinstein and Ralph M. Bradburd show how using the smart economics of cost-benefit analysis can allow social sector leaders to measure the effectiveness of their projects and make choices with their limited resources. This is a must read for those leaders and active board members and donors.

Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School

This book is a critical contribution to philanthropy. It provides a data-driven framework so we can ensure that our good intentions translate into great impact, and it raises the bar for how we make our giving decisions, encouraging us all to make the most of what we have to give!

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, founder and chairman of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and author of Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World

This is a great book for both nonprofit funders and nonprofit leaders. Its 'relentless monetization' concept—if widely deployed—would dramatically boost the impact of the independent sector. Now let's get to work and act on this great advice.

Mark Tercek, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy and author of Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature

[Weinstein & Bradburd] provide detailed guidance on how to make choices that have real, positive impact in the world.

Tim Sullivan, Harvard Business Review
1. Overview of Relentless Monetization
2. Translating Mission Into Mission-Relevant Outcomes
3. Basics of Monetizing Outcomes
4. Those Pesky Counterfactuals
5. The Meaning of Present Discounted Values
6. Examples of Metrics by Outcome
7. Examples of Metrics by Grant: Multi-Outcome Interventions
8. Completing the Analytical Traverse: Small-Bore Benefit/Cost Analysis
9. Key Generalities: Q&A
10. Six Purposes
11. Prominent Metrics Systems
12. Reflections on Risk
13. Conclusion
Appendix A: Counterfactual Complications: Shared Responsibility
Appendix B: Choices Between More and Less Risky Initiatives
Appendix C: Calculating a Program's Expected Well-being Impact

Read the chapter "Overview of Relentless Monetization" (to view in full screen, click on icon in bottom right-hand corner)

Web Features:
VIDEO: Michael Weinstein explains the Robin Hood Foundation approach:

Micheal Weinstein on Benefit-Cost:

2014 Silver Medal Winner, Axiom Business Book Awards for Philanthropy / Sustainability

About the Author

Michael M. Weinstein is the senior vice president of The Robin Hood Foundation and holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served on the editorial board of The New York Times and as its economics columnist during the 1990s. He was the founding director of the Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies while holding the Paul A. Volcker Chair in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is president and founder of W.A.D. Financial Counseling, Inc., a nonprofit foundation providing free financial counseling to poor families.

Ralph M. Bradburd is professor of economics and the David A. Wells Professor of Political Economy at Williams College. He has served as a consultant for international organizations such as the World Bank and USAID, HHS, the Federal Trade Commission, other U.S. federal and state-level government agencies, and the nonprofit Robin Hood Foundation. He is the incoming chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Williams College.