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My 2007 top picks of books for the non-profit connoisseur
January 01, 2008
Judging from the number
of books I read about the non profit sector in 2007, I am a much
better educated non profit blogger than I was twelve months ago.
I digested thirteen books in that time and wrote reviews of them
or used them in articles.
I thought I would rank
all of them in some sort of order such as the most rewarding to
the least. But, frankly, I don't review books unless I think they
would really be helpful to readers, so I gave up on the ranking.
Nevertheless, the following books were especially rewarding for
me and, like all good books, kept me glued to them from beginning
Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age, Allison H.
Fine. This book was a real eye opener when I went looking for information
on "social media." Fine does a wonderful job of explaining
social media and provides suggestions on how nonprofits can use
How to Win the Hearts, Minds, and Business of Boomer Big Spenders,
Marti Barletta. Barletta's book is for marketers in the business
world, but I found her insights totally applicable to the issue
of getting Baby Boomers to volunteer and donate to nonprofit causes.
By: Succeeding With Sponsorship, Patricia Martin. Martin's
book is a real godsend to nonprofits interested in developing sponsorships
with businesses. She explores the cultural differences between profit
and nonprofit and provides a blueprint for getting past the gates
and to an agreement that helps both sponsor and sponsored.
How to Write
Fundraising Materials That Raise More Money, Tom Ahern.
This book is the best I've seen about understanding your audience
and writing to it. Ahern's typology of readers makes such good sense,
it inspires us to go try that annual report or letter or brochure
again, but with more insight.
Forces for Good:
The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, Leslie Crutchfield
and Heather McLeod Grant. This book was the starting point for my
own research into social entrepreneurism. It is based on quantitative
and qualitative research that is then synthesised in a way that
any reader can grasp. Just learning about the various organisations
the authors surveyed and how they tackled problems made the book
Realities Every board Member Must Face: a 1-Hour Crash Course on
Raising Major gifts for Nonprofit Organisations, David
Lansdowne. I loved this book and wished that someone had put it
into my hands years ago when I served on boards and worked with
boards from the staff side.
to the Nonprofit Sector: Shifting Your Focus from the Bottom Line
to a Better World, Laura Gassner Otting. I am so grateful
that this book is available. It really should be the first thing
anyone seeking a position in the nonprofit world reads.
Charity On Trial:
What You Need to Know Before You Give, Doug White. Reading
Charity on Trial was like reading a favourite mystery. White weaves
the stories of nonprofits that became "ethically challenged,"
with some great advice for nonprofits to avoid scandal and for donors
who want to know that their money is well taken care of.
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