Book Review by Taylor Berrett
Philanthropy is Not Just for the Wealthy
Are you the leader of a global philanthropic organization? If you’re not, then on the surface Jim Lord’s new book, Bounce Back Higher: 3 Steps that Inspire the Spirit of Contribution in the Age of the Pandemic may not seem like it applies to you.
After all, Lord is best known as the author of The Raising of Money, considered by many to be the Bible of philanthropic fundraising. For 50 years he’s been asking and seeking to answer the question, “Why do people give away their money?” He’s helped leaders, philanthropists, and over a quarter of a million readers to date find their own pathways to inspiring people to give.
But upon reading Bounce Back Higher, it becomes clear that this impressive book has something to inspire and instruct anyone who wants to contribute positively to the world and inspire others to do the same.
How Do We Move Forward from Here?
Lord doesn’t shy away from addressing the elephant in the room— he specifically addresses how this pandemic is not only a singular tragedy but also a singular opportunity to transform our world for the better.
One of his most powerful pieces of advice comes when he espouses looking at how much we’ve already accomplished rather than focusing just on what needs to be accomplished. When people are reminded of what they already have, he says, they’re more motivated to hear the call to make a better world for all.
For some, this may be a difficult pill to swallow. While vaccinations and increasingly relaxed social distancing measures are beginning to bring back some semblance of normalcy, many people’s lives have been irreversibly damaged by the pandemic. For some people, a lost job or closed business reflects the decimation of a dream. For others, a lost loved one results in feelings of grief and harrowing sadness. Is it really the right time for us to be focusing on helping others when many of us feel we’re barely keeping ourselves together?
The Bottom Line
Jim Lord attempts to convince us that it is in the brief 83 pages of Bounce Back Higher, and he does so rather convincingly. He believes that changing focus from ‘me’ to ‘we’ doesn’t just lift up others, it helps us lift ourselves up and out of grief, stagnancy, and frustration. After the political, economical, and health-centric era we’ve all just experienced and are still experiencing, it’s hard not to wonder whether he’s right. Maybe there’s never been a time to focus on uplifting each other, rather than keeping each other at a distance. The pandemic did enough of that on its own.