Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Half the Sky

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Half the Sky

Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn

Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2009, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2010, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Beverly Melven

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Guides to Giving
Kristof & WuDunn frequently mention two websites that can help readers decide which charitable organizations to give their money to. These two sites - GiveWell.net and CharityNavigator.org – rate charities based on efficiency and other factors and make that information public. You can see whether $90 of your $100 goes to those in need, or only $65. There are more factors than just efficiency of course, but the more information donors have, the more likely it is their money will be used in the way they imagined. Both sites cover charities in general and are not specific to charities that help women in developing countries.

Charity Navigator has dozens of top-ten lists, such as 10 Highly-Paid CEOs at Low-rated Charities, Slam-Dunk Charities, and Inefficient Fundraisers. You can search by the type of charity or its location. They have a section for charities in the news, tips on how to spend your charity dollars wisely, and an area for public comment. This website is full of useful information in an easy-to-use format.

GiveWell has more in-depth information on a smaller number of charities. They look at not only how efficient the charities are, but how effective they are. Are they accomplishing their goals? Will future monies have the same impact as previous donations to this organization? Givewell goes deeper into the workings of individual charities to find out all you might want to know about what your money will do.

Both sites offer tons of links to more information, an explanation of their own methodologies and the reasoning behind them. I found these sites easy to use and learned a lot just from skimming them. I will definitely be using them in the future for all of my charitable contributions.

Article by Beverly Melven

This article was originally published in November 2009, and has been updated for the June 2010 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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