Giving Library Challenges Philanthropists to "Give Smart"
"There is not currently a way for philanthropists to quickly but substantively look into a large number of giving opportunities, and the Giving Library addresses that need. Individuals that use the Giving Library will be able to easily locate, study, and engage with organizations that fit their giving criteria," said LJAF Director of Communications, Meredith Johnson. "What would have taken months or even years of meetings and travel can now be done in a matter of days, from anywhere. It's the new way to give."
Laura and John Arnold made public their dedication to philanthropy with the establishment of LJAF in 2008 and the signing of Bill Gates' and Warren Buffet's Giving Pledge in 2010. The creation of the Giving Library is another step forward in their commitment to charitable giving. As reflected in their Philosophy of Philanthropy, the Arnolds seek to help other donors become as engaged, collaborative, and strategic about charitable giving as the Arnolds personally strive to be. The Giving Library is a tool, but it also serves as a call to action for strategic, thoughtful philanthropy.
"We have been blessed by the many opportunities afforded to us and feel it is our responsibility to invest in philanthropic efforts that create significant change within our lifetimes," said Laura and John Arnold. "We created the Giving Library to help philanthropists explore a large number of giving opportunities in one place and to help them make informed and impactful decisions."
The Giving Library provides two ways to explore participating non-profits: short-format videos that provide a broad understanding of an organization's work; and long-format video interviews to model an in-depth, face-to-face meeting between a donor and a non-profit. The long-format video interviews address each organization's origins, objectives, success metrics, leverage points, effectiveness, possible misconceptions, accomplishments, challenges, future plans, and gaps.
In addition to learning about non-profit organizations by viewing online video interviews, donors have the option to utilize the Connection Center feature, which allows donors to plan their giving on their own terms. Donors may directly connect with organizations of interest - anonymously or by voluntarily identifying themselves – to ask questions or request additional information.
Non-profit organizations included in the Giving Library were evaluated to ensure that they are 501(c)(3) public charities. However, a non-profit organization's participation in the Giving Library is not an endorsement by LJAF.
About the Giving Library: The Giving Library offers philanthropists an innovative way to enhance their strategic charitable giving. Donors can explore our online archive of video interviews to locate, study, compare, and engage with hundreds of non-profit organizations across the country. The Giving Library also serves non-profit organizations by enhancing donor access through a compelling medium, increasing overall visibility, and providing an opportunity to learn about peer organizations across the country.
About Laura and John Arnold: Laura is an attorney and a former oil company executive. She is an Adjunct Professor of Management at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University, where she is also a Trustee. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Teach For America, Baylor College of Medicine, and the Innocence Project. Laura has a J.D. from Yale Law School, an M.Phil. in European Studies from the University of Cambridge and a B.A., Magna Cum Laude, in Government from Harvard College.
John founded and directed Centaurus Energy Master Fund (CEMF), which traded energy commodities and developed natural gas storage fields from 2002 to 2012. He currently manages significant private energy exploration investments. Prior to founding CEMF, John held various positions within Enron's Wholesale Division, including Head of Natural Gas Derivatives. He is a member of the Board of Trustees at Vanderbilt University, The Menil Collection, and The New Teacher Project. John holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University. Laura and John have three children and reside in Houston.