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Research Prize Awarded for Book on Strategic Philanthropy

(April 21, 2009) The 2009 Skystone Ryan Research Prize was awarded to Paul Brest and Hal Harvey for the book, Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy. The book offers a framework for both donors and nonprofits to design strategies to get the best results from philanthropy.

Paul Brest is president of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Hal Harvey is director of environment program for the foundation.

“Money Well Spent represents a milestone in the science of philanthropy,” said the Research Prize Jury of the AFP Research Council in a statement about the honoree. “It applies research and concepts of strategic thinking and techniques that have been developed in the last couple of decades to the art of giving money away.” Written for donors, foundations and nonprofits, it features several case studies of nonprofit organizations.

Money Well Spent is a very readable, thoughtful, and balanced guide or strategy for philanthropists to use to achieve their philanthropic objectives,” said the council. “An important contribution for all involved in the art and science of philanthropy; both ‘askers’ and ‘givers’ will want to read this work to better understand how philanthropy can and should have an impact on the needs and issues facing our complex world.”

The book’s contents are divided into three sections: The Framework, Tools, and Organizing Your Resources for strategic philanthropy. Particularly important is the way that “strategy” is presented by Brest and Harvey, notes the AFP Research Council. The concepts in the book have broad application. The authors present a framework that can be applied broadly to issues affecting fundraisers. Understanding your “theory of change” is essential in any application of strategy. The authors also provide a series of case studies to bring the theory to practical lessons.

“The true test of this milestone work may be yet to come,” the statement notes. “When the authors penned Money Well Spent we were at an economic high as well as a ‘philanthropic’ high. It seems logical that their strategic framework will be equally effective in an economic low and with declining philanthropic resources.”

Brest and Harvey were announced as winners of the research prize at the International Conference on Fundraising recently in New Orleans.

About the Research Prize

Each year, the AFP Research Council awards the Skystone Ryan Prize for Research to the author of a book that contributes substantially to the knowledge and understanding of fundraising or philanthropic behavior. This year marks the 19th year of the award program.

The Prize for Research is made possible by an endowment from the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy to encourage advanced research that extends the knowledge of fundraising and philanthropy.

Click here for more information about the AFP Skystone Ryan Prize for Research.

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