The Greater Good
The Greater Good is a passionate, pragmatic and finally optimistic manifesto for revitalizing the promise of the American economy…
“Most people think that Americans are generous because we are rich. The truth is that we are rich…because we are generous..." Claire Gaudiani tells us.
The Greater Good is filled with stories, stories of personal generosity by individual Americans. We have a great tradition of helping each other get an education, develop good ideas, and build our communities. We do this for the greater good of everyone, not just for ourselves.
These stories describe the remarkable contributions to American prosperity that have resulted from these generous acts. If you are involved in giving or raising money, you will find an inspiring story here that you can share with others committed to your cause.
If you’d like to read one such great story, the founding of the Provident Hospital in Chicago, click here.
Philanthropy is Red, White and Blue
Personal generosity for the greater good is a unique American value. No other people in the world are as generous as Americans. Eighty-nine percent of us give each year, and not only to our churches or synagogues, or to our relatives. We give to causes that will help other Americans, because we care about the greater good for all citizens. The Founding Fathers understood the need for citizens in the new country to help each other out, so everyone had a stake in the future. We need to keep this commitment alive and well in the 21st century.
Americans are Inventors and Investors
The Greater Good is a manifesto, as well as a history of philanthropy. Claire challenges all of us to maintain, in fact to increase, our generosity. We have more accumulated wealth as a nation than ever before, thanks to our democratic capitalist system tempered by generosity, and we must reinvest this wealth through generous acts.
The Greater Good tells many stories of philanthropic entrepreneurs, investors in people, in our environment built and natural, and in ideas. We need generous investors today to address our current challenges, schools, neighborhoods, housing, whatever is needed to keep the American dream alive for all citizens.
Generosity is Essential
Claire argues from sound economic evidence that forward generosity is essential to continued American prosperity. The book demonstrates that philanthropy sustains upward mobility, develops new industries and nourishes democracy. It has provided the early investments in people and physical and intellectual capital, the areas that economists such as Paul Romer of Stanford University have shown to be most important for fueling the country’s growth.
Claire notes the challenges of the moment (rising personal debt, slow growth, gated communities, shrinking civic involvement, flat giving rates) as well as the opportunity (the next fifty years will see the largest private intergenerational wealth transfer in human history). She sets forth an agenda for forward generous investment to ensure that American social and economic success is assured.
If you would like to order a copy of The Greater Good, please click here.
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