We are big fans of taking time during the summer months to relax, unwind and soak in some sun. However, we also know that the nonprofit industry never takes a break. So we put together this summer reading list so you can learn and stay up-to-date without having to sit in an office and stare at your computer screen for yet another training session or class. Whether you’re a fundraiser, a social entrepreneur or a nonprofit leader, it’s important to keep the wheels turning and to learn new strategies that you and your team can benefit from.
These experts are sure to motivate you to make some changes in your personal life and your work life. So check out the list of books and guides that you can easily peruse while you sit by the pool, on the beach or on a plane.
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek. This book is the basis of a TED Talk and was written to teach leaders how to inspire. No matter what industry you’re in and what your position is, Start with Why is a great book to learn tips and tricks to be a better leader and to drive your teams to be more innovative, creative and successful.
- Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant. If your goal is social impact, then this guide is for you. The authors analyzed 12 nonprofits that have achieved a high level of social impact and derived methodologies for other nonprofits to use to drive the same impact.
- The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine. Our world is more connected than ever, and taking advantage of that connectivity is crucial for the success of your nonprofit. That’s why Kanter and Fine wrote The Networked Nonprofit. This book examines ways that nonprofits can use social media technology to inspire change and develop more successful philanthropic strategies.
- Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World by Dan Pallotta. This guide is all about changing the way that the public views social impact and charitable giving. Without public support, charities cannot succeed. Pallotta set out to educate the public on the nonprofit sector in order to fuel growth for charitable organizations.
- Dollar Dash: The Behavioral Economics of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising by Katrina VanHuss and Otis Fulton. Peer-to-peer fundraising is one of the most lucrative and impactful modes of fundraising. VanHuss and Futon wrote this book as a resource to help nonprofits more effectively engage in this form of fundraising to drive volunteers and charitable giving by looking at behavioral economics and applying it to the nonprofit industry.
- Managing a Nonprofit Organization: Updated Twenty-First Century Edition by Thomas Wolf. This is a go-to guide for nonprofit leaders that addresses the challenges that nonprofits are facing this century and how they can combat those challenges, complete with study questions throughout.
- Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. Brene Brown is one of the most influential writers in the nonprofit world. This book is about inspiring nonprofit leaders, change-makers and culture-shifters to be inquisitive, curious and motivating in order to become more effective, bold, courageous leaders who will change the world and influence their teams.
- Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship by Alex Counts. This book was created for those who dream of making the world a better place. Sometimes changing the world can seem daunting, overwhelming and fruitless. That’s where Counts comes in. This is a practical guide on team-building, fundraising, management and communication to run a successful nonprofit while also emphasizing self-care and work/life balance.
- Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead by Jim Mattis and Bing West. Learn how to lead in a chaotic, hectic world with this guide by Mattis and West. Mattis draws on his experience in various leadership positions, specifically in wartime settings, and uses that experience as a basis to elaborate on the steps America needs to take to be a successful world leader.
- No More Duct Tape Fundraising: The Nonprofit Leader’s Guide to Becoming an Inspirational Fundraiser by Rachel Ramjattan. Running a successful nonprofit is all about finding new and creative ways to raise charitable funds. Ramjattan wrote this book to help fundraisers develop more strategic fundraising plans, communicate more effectively with their teams, connect with the public, inspire people to give and generate predictable revenue.
Ready for some reading time in the sun? We hope you find these books as inspirational as we do!