Doing Good Well : What Does (and Does Not) Make Sense in the Nonprofit World

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-12-03
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass

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Why does a deserving charity struggle to make ends meet while another which squanders money, thrive? Because there is a structural disconnect between revenue and expenses in the nonprofit world.Is continuous growth the hallmark of a successful charity? No, it's just the opposite - the ultimate aim of a charity is to be extinct.Would you use volunteers if it actually cost more than hiring paid skilled staff? Yes, if engagement with the community is crucial.Call these examples, ironies, paradoxes or simply insights into why the charity sector is what it is. Doing Good Well is a thinking man's guide to the nonprofit world. It is replete with nonprofit paradigms. It provides a different twist to what one might regard as straightforward notions such as mission, staff compensation, governance and corporate social responsibility. And it surprises and challenges even as it seeks to explain charity-specific issues such as charitableness, bridging the rich/poor divide, informed giving and social entrepreneurship.And as he deconstructs existing paradigms, Willie Cheng creates new ones.Through an easy writing style, hearty anecdotes and thought-provoking perspectives, Cheng engages the readers with a strategic review of not just the status quo but also the enormous potential in the nonprofit world. The theme of the book is change. Inasmuch as charities are about changing society for the better, this book seeks to set the stage for interesting introspection.Whether you are a volunteer, business executive, nonprofit worker, governor or regulator, it's time to start asking the questions that would help the charity sector itself change for the better. In Cheng's words, charity is no longer simply about "Just Doing Good" but "Doing Good Well."

Author Biography

Willie Cheng is a former partner of Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing firm. Prior to his retirement in 2003, he was the country managing director for Singapore and the managing partner of its Communications and High Tech practice in Asia.

Since his retirement, he has stayed involved with the business and the infocomm community. However, he spends the larger part of his time working with nonprofit organizations at the board and volunteer level. Among these, he is chairman of the Lien Center for Social Innovation and Caritas Singapore.

He was formerly chairman of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Center where he started applying his management consulting background to nonprofit work.

He has written extensively on the nonprofit sector. This book, his first, is a distillation of these writings, updated for an international context.

He lives in Singapore with his wife, Julie, and two sons, Ian and Ivan.

He can be contacted at

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Forewordp. xiii
Introduction: Of Paradigms and Doing Goodp. 1
Sector Structure & Governance
The Nonprofit Marketplace: The Missing Hand of Adam Smithp. 5
Informed Giving: The Visible Hand of the Donorp. 15
Nonprofit Governance: Who Governs a Nonprofit, Really?p. 25
Regulation: Black Box Or Glass House?p. 39
Nonprofit Management
Nonprofit Mission: Endgame: Extinctionp. 51
Reserves: The Problem of Plentyp. 63
Executive Compensation: Heart Work, Less Payp. 77
Corporate Social Responsibility: Is the Business of Business just Business?p. 87
The Charity Quotient: How Charitable are You, Truly?p. 103
Planned Giving: Raising Money from the Deadp. 119
Elite Giving: Elite or e-Lite Giving?p. 127
International Giving & NGOs: Charity Without Bordersp. 135
Volunteerism: Free Labor Wanted, but Conditions Apply!p. 149
Social Innovation
Philanthropy: The Second Philanthropic Revolutionp. 159
Social Entrepreneurship: Innovating Social Changep. 175
Social Enterprises: Profits for Nonprofitsp. 185
Doing Good Well?
The Rich/Poor Divide: For Richer or For Poorer?p. 197
Nonprofit Qwerties: Quitting Quirky Quagmiresp. 205
Case Study: NKF: The Saga and Its Paradigmsp. 223
The Charity Ecosystem: Doing Good Betterp. 253
Indexp. 269
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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