Recently, OnlineClasses, an organization dedicated to providing the best online educational resources, tools, and courses for students, sent a message directing me to their blog where they posted their list of 100 best humanitarian books. Their purpose for posting this list was to provide learning beyond the classroom through books about humanitarian issues, famous humanitarians, and social entrepreneurship.
Businesses that know that they want to contribute to local and global causes can make use of these resources too, to learn more about where they would like to direct their philanthropic efforts and how to go about doing so.
I have read some of the books on this list and have found them very inspiring. I encourage any business owner or employee that would like to start a giving program to do some reading from this or any other list (my own list coming soon!) for inspiration and ideas.
Here are some of the topics and descriptions of the 100 books, including my specific favorites.
Fiction and Memoirs
These books provide both fictional and true-life accounts of some of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: "Want to know why Afghanistan is the way it is today? This book blends history and politics with a moving tale about friendship."
Inspiration and Education
These books are about those involved in humanitarian projects and what more needs to be done or changed to help a greater number of people.
My favorites in this category:
Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin: "Read this book to learn more about a man who has constructed schools and attempted to improve access to education in the impoverished village of Korph."
The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz: "Learn what this woman is doing through social entrepreneurship and charity to help those who need it around the world. "
Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson: "Greg Mortenson will inspire you in this extended account of his work to build schools and promote peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
Books about humanitarian movements and the laws, politics and spin that come with them.
My favorite in this category:
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath: Want to make your humanitarian mission succeed? Consider reading this book about what can make it stick.
Biographies and Autobiographies More information about some of the greatest crusaders for human rights in recent history.
a variety of humanitarian topics.
Humanitarians write their own stories about their experiences.
Find out more about how businesses can change the world with their ideas in these great reads.
My favorite in this category:
Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know by David Bornstein and Susan Davis: "Find out what being a social entrepreneur is all about by reading this book."
These books will teach you more about charitable actions and how to make your philanthropy count.
A BIG favorite:
Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker by Bill Somerville: Inspiring view on how anyone can become a grant maker.
Every humanitarian cause needs a little financial help to get off of the ground, and these books can help fundraisers understand the process better.
Congratulations to Online Classes for an amazing job compiling this list and for providing such a great resource to everyone who wants to learn about philanthropy.