We have a tradition in our family for the day after Thanksgiving. We all have our Christmas wish list of books, CDs and DVDs and we go to Amazon.com as a group and I do a good deal of my Christmas shopping all at once. This year I have a longer list than usual because like lots of other people I have given up my newspaper subscription and so I have more time for books. It is always fun just to see what each of us wishes for - we all have very different tastes. Sometimes we just have an author or artist and we check to see if there is something new. I don’t buy everything on the lists, but I do get most of it. When we are done, everyone is exhausted (Online shopping isn’t supposed to be exhausting, I know) but there is also a quiet joy that some things we actually really want to have will be under the Christmas tree.
Last year I blogged about books you might want to give your nonprofit friends or put on your wish list for the holidays and this was one of my most read blog articles. So here is this year’s list – just in time for the holidays.
I’ve included books by authors who I know and I’ve heard them speak on the topic they have written about. Some of these books are on my Christmas list and then I hope to have them signed by the authors at the NTEN 2011 Nonprofit Technology Conference in March. I asked some of my friends on Linkedin to contribute to this list and they provided great suggestions. The result is not a long laundry list but rather an eclectic list providing choices ranging from downright practical to ones that will have you jump out of your chair with enthusiasm and inspiration. Actually I think there are a few that can do both. All of the books on this list have rave reviews at Amazon – Check them out for yourself.
At the end of this article there are links to Amazon for each of the books on this list.
Leadership and Innovation
The Power of Social Innovation: How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good by Stephen Goldsmith - This book looks like an inspirational yet practical guide (Lots of case studies) to social innovation and creative ways for overcoming obstacles to change. Recommended by Jesse Wiley
Linchpin by Seth Godin - Seth Godin is the author of 10 best selling books and really a 21st century leadership guru. He used to be thought of as a marketing expert but his work has gone way beyond marketing. One reviewer sums up Linchpin this way - “This book breaks down every barrier we've built between ourselves and our greatness.” Recommended by Pamela Grow
Soul of a Citizen by Paul Loeb - Allison Jones says that Loeb “focuses on the importance of developing spiritual strength, living deliberately and thoughtfully, the challenges we face on that journey, and remembering why we got into nonprofit work in the first place.” The Amazon reviews are excellent on this book first published in hardcover in 1999 and released in paperback for the first time this year. Recommended by Allison Jones
The Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause by Kivi Leroux Miller - This is the definitive resource for nonprofit marketing. It is a must have resource if you are interested in this topic.No one covers this topic better than Kivi - she was my favorite speaker at this year's NTC conference. Recommended by Jesse Wiley and me
The Ask: How to Ask for Support for Your Nonprofit Cause, Creative Project, or Business Venture by Laura Fredricks: Laura is a well known expert in fundraising and this book appears to be thorough and if you’ll excuse the pun “right on the money.” Recommended by Jesse Wiley
Developing Your Case for Support by Tim Seiler - This book will help you build a detailed case and case statement. There are exercise worksheets and a step by step process to follow. Looks like a winner to me. Recommended by Linda Lysakowski
Linda also is the author of The Development Plan - a best seller with AFP, and her newest book is Fundraising as a Career: What, Are You Crazy? Linda shares her expertise, provides solid guidance and will lead you in the right direction when it comes to anything to do with fundraising.
50 Asks in 50 Weeks by Amy Eisenstein – I had the privilege of hearing Amy deliver a workshop on this subject at the Charity Channel Summit in Saint Petersburg earlier this month. Amy gives great guidance for even a one person shop in choosing priorities and effectively completing 50 Asks in 50 Weeks. I walked away with a feeling that any development office could become more effective and focused by simply following Amy’s straightforward, no nonsense advice. Recommended by me.
The Handbook of Nonprofit Governance by BoardSource - This is a basic Boardsource reference book that is sometimes just what we need. Recommendation by Jesse Wiley
Nonprofit Technology and Social Media
The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine - This book is one of the top books for nonprofits published this year and will for sure be on many wish lists. Nobody addresses this topic with such passion, knowledge and down to earth good advice as Beth and Allison. I had the pleasure of hearing Beth and Allison together at the NTC conference in Atlanta this year. The room was overflowing with people standing and sitting in the aisles. Recommended by Jesse Wiley and me
The Idealware Field Guide to Software – Idealware is the consumer reports of nonprofit technology and the place to check out anything you want to know about technology for nonprofits. This handy, inexpensive field guide is a good first place to look for a high level overview of many nonprofit technology topics. Laura Quinn, co-author signed my copy at the NTC conference in Atlanta. Recommended by me.