Giving Is Not Just For The Very Rich

A How-To Guide For Giving & Philanthropy

Testimonials for Dr. Susan Aurelia Gitelson's book:


I US REVIEW OF BOOKS: USA 2013 Best Book Awards:


II LuckyCinda Publishing Global Book Contest 2013:


"Kudos to ... Dr. Susan Gitelson on her noble book "Giving Is Not Just For The Very Rich: A How-to Guide for Giving and Philanthropy." Dr. Gitelson shows you easy ways you can give, regardless of your financial status. I encourage you to read...the book."

Jack Canfield, author, Chicken Soup for the Soul


“Straightforward prose, a handy table of contents, and worthwhile statistics and examples will help potential donors realize that no contribution is too small and that any

amount of giving can bring happiness to the lives of all involved. The book is broken down into numerous categories, ranging from an examination of celebrities’ charitable

giving to an overview of the major areas of philanthropy,such as religious groups and higher education. The final section contains a helpful guide instructing readers how to

identify reputable charities, how to choose organizations that are in alignment with one’s own passions and how to ensure that donations are properly utilized...Readers with

even a passing interest in charitable giving will find this guide to be an informative, go-to resource on how to get started.”

“Gitelson (Multilateral Aid for National Development and Self-Reliance, 1975) draws upon her extensive background working with various international organizations tocreate an accessible, encyclopedic reference volume for average citizens interested in contributing to the greater good.”


"Gitelson successfully combines a discussion that raises important questions about an individual's attitudes toward giving with authoritative information about philanthropy in a volume that is nicely packaged and comprehensive in its scope. Her book lays the groundwork for the reader who has a sincere interest in making a contribution to a worthy cause."

ForeWord Clarion Reviews


Dr. Joseph S. Maresca (Bronxville, New York USA) - See all my reviews

(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER) (TOP 1000 REVIEWER) This review is from: Giving Is Not Just For The Very Rich: A How-to Guide for Giving and Philanthropy (Paperback)Giving Is Not Just For The Very Rich: A How-To Guide For Giving And Philanthropy by Dr. Susan Aurelia Gitelson is an excellent resource for locating philanthropic people and organizations that donate to a host of charities all over the world. Americans have been generous in giving over $300 billion dollars a year to charitable causes.

Dr. Gitelson provides simple guiding principles for giving wisely. Examples of the principles are to check for transparency, examine the mission of the charity, visit the charity and verify the tax-exempt status under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Among the wealthiest donors are Bill Gates, who has given $28 billion dollars through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. George Soros, Eli Broad, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner and Jon Huntsman Sr. have given over a billion dollars apiece. The Omidyars have given over $1 billion dollars to Hopelab, as well as the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund at Tufts University for international microfinance initiatives.

The William J. Clinton Foundation has been focusing on education, economic empowerment, the environment, energy, and literacy. Even sports heroes have created programs to help others. Examples are the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the Turn 2 Foundation, Best Buddies International and Athletes for Hope. All of these charities and more are documented in Dr. Gitelson's book.

The author cites important watchdog agencies that evaluate charities. Examples are Charity Navigator, GuideStar, GreatNonprofits and The Independent Sector.


“ Dr. Susan Gitelson reminds us of how much good philanthropy has done and how much remains to be done. The book will inspire the needed great work ahead."

Dr. Anthony W. Marx, President and CEO, The New York Public Library

"I truly like the Table of Contents. I think that you have covered the waterfront on subject matter and I think that the volume will be a valuable source for philanthropists and those interested in becoming one. I also think that charitable organizations will be interested in providing copies to prospects. The book will be a valuable resource."

Laurans A. Mendelson, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President, HEICO Aerospace Holdings Corp.

"Your book is timely and important. I am delighted to see the message that philanthropy is not just for the 1 percent! I admire what you have done with your own philanthropy. It is an inspiring example. I have always thought that the best gifts are those that are as meaningful for the giver as for the recipient. Good luck with the book! I hope it gets the wide audience that it deserves."

Dr. Joel H Rosenthal, President, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

"Having worked with many philanthropic clients, I share Dr. Gitelson's point of view regarding the multi-faceted values of giving. "Giving Is Not Just for the Very Rich" shows the giver how to optimize philanthropy and provides an indispensable primer on why-to-do-it and how-to-do-it."

Arlene G. Dubin, family law attorney at Moses & Singer LLP in New York and author of "Prenups for Lovers: A Romantic Guide to Prenuptial Agreements”

“Giving Is Not Just For The Very Rich: A How To Guide For Giving and Philanthropy” is clearly a must-read book for those who want to address the needs of students, teachers, supervisors and parents. As the educator and researcher, Ron Edmonds said many years ago, “We can make a real difference, it depends upon how much we CARE”.

The examples cited in this book clearly reflect actions taken by those who CARE. It will also provide Best Practices guidance to everyone who has the human and financial capital to make that difference because they also CARE for all to have HIGH EXPECTATIONS.

Dr. Charlotte K. Frank, Sr. Vice President – Research & Development, McGraw-Hill Education

“A must read for all who strive to creatively promote the betterment of humanity.”

Dr. George D. Schwab, President, National Committee on American Foreign Policy

"I very much liked the clarity and directness of the writing. It clearly, as indicated by the chapter on how to evaluate charities, would be a useful book for many people. I can also see it as a book that people give as a present to others at birthdays and holidays."

Dr. Michael Curtis

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Rutgers University

“Dr. Susan Gitelson has created an ambitious compendium of examples of philanthropy from names familiar to us all like Wendy Kopp, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates to those unknown to most. All donors share the desire to improve life and create equality of education opportunity for all. How the reader can do it is what Gitelson explains in clear and precise prose.

“This book is compelling reading for young and old and illuminates the path to helping others while enriching one’s own life.”

–Dr. Pola Rosen, Publisher, Education Update

"Dr. Gitelson, like community foundations, believes everyone has a role to play in helping build community, making the places they love even better now and for generations to come."

Fraser Nelson, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Utah

"Susan, I loved reading the reviews about your new book.

I like the analogy of giving as a way of life. Early on, we have more time than money, and then later more money than time. Giving regardless of one's status or wealth, and regardless of age, is an important concept.

Often people think that they will give 'when they have more money'. But you rightly point out that this is a way of living which enriches the giver as much (if not more) than the receiver.

I am going to include this book in the presents for my children during these holidays. "

Krishen Mehta, Co-chairman, Board of Advisors, Global Financial Integrity

*BIG THANK YOU* to Dr. Susan who helped me tremendously on my research project for Impact RepTheatre and the social political economy of the nonprofit industry. She is a great, sharp, intelligent, cool lady and my conversations with her have been very inspiring.

"A how-to guide on philanthropy, "Giving Is Not Just For The Very Rich: A How-to Guide for Giving and Philanthropy," will help you refine your priorities, become aware of how to make an impact, and choose charitable organizations wisely. It advises you how to create meaningful, innovative contributions that will benefit others and enhance your own sense of wellbeing."

Dr. Susan Aurelia Gitelson is a philanthropist and international businessperson, who has drawn upon her own extensive giving experiences with higher education, awards, and other areas over many years donating to Columbia University and elsewhere to offer guidance to others for meaningful giving.

Emilia Ottoo

Impact Repertory Theater, Company Captain

"You've written a very important book...something I'm trying to live by as we proceed through the art of life."

Dr. Christopher Bakriges, jazz pianist and composer

FOREWORD by Robert M. Morgenthau

Giving Is Not Just For The Very Rich


by Robert M. Morgenthau

I can date my own decision to dedicate my life to giving back to April 20, 1944, when

I was in the chilly waters of the Mediterranean having survived the sinking of my ship, the

Lansdale, with the loss of 44 officers and men. Although I did not have much bargaining

power, I made a deal with the almighty that if I made it out alive, I would dedicate my life to

the public good. It was no surprise, I suppose, that I chose this direction. After all, I had in

my father and grandfather two paradigms for the principle that we all have an important

responsibility to give back. Through a combination of public service and philanthropy,

these two men provided me with inspiring examples of how one can lead a life of purpose

and good works. They underscored for me what Winston Churchill is said to have said

about philanthropy: “You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.”

In my long career of public service, I have dedicated myself to two causes in

particular – the Police Athletic League (PAL) and the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. I have been privileged to serve these two great institutions as chairman for many years, and, along the way, I have helped to raise a great deal of money from a wide variety of people at every level of giving. One thing can be said of all of them – they were made better by what they gave. Their involvement in helping others invariably helped them. And I count my own contributions – in time and effort as well as in dollars and cents – as among the most meaningful that I can imagine.

Dr. Susan Gitelson has chosen an important topic for this book, and a key part of her

message is in the title, itself -- Giving Is Not Just For The Very Rich. Giving is for all of us,

who, in our own ways, have the power and the capacity to make a difference. By giving we

affirm not just our own values, but we make a statement to others. We receive something

that we cannot buy, but can only get by giving

Robert M. Morgenthau

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz