Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 Wishlist of Books for Nonprofit Folk and GIVEAWAY!!

Update 12/17/14 - See the 2014 Wishlist here...

Update 12/26/13 - Check out the 2013 Wishlist here....

Update (12/7/12:  Thanks to everyone who left a comment and entered to win a signed copy of Building Nonprofit Capacity by John Brothers and Anne Sherman at the blog, facebook and LinkedIn groups.  The winner is Lynette Davis who left a comment at my facebook page - Marion Conway - Nonprofit Consultant.

From My Own Nonprofit Book Collection
This is the fourth year that I am publishing my Wish List of Books for Nonprofit Folk.  It is a curated list and I am sure that you will find something special that will be of interest and value to someone you know working with nonprofits.  A book from this list will make a perfect holiday gift.

I have tapped my nonprofit network once again and asked them to make recommendations for this annual list.   What I love about writing this article is that I always learn about books that I will want to read in the next year and so I add them to my own wishlist.  In the past I have put the books into categories, but this year I am just listing all of them – in random order.  Check them all out – there are some real finds on the list.

This year’s list comes with a special holiday gift.  John Brothers, author of Building Nonprofit Capacity is offering a signed copy as a giveaway.  Read to the end to see how you can win.

And if that hasn’t whet your appetite, the contributors to this list include Anne Ackerson, Debra Beck, Kathleen Brennan, John Brothers, Heather Carpenter, Nell Edgington, John Haydon, Beth Kanter, Matt Koltermann, David LaPiana, JD Lasica, and Marc Pitman.

I asked the contributors to let me know about their new publications and books that they recommend.  And Wow!!!! What a diverse list it is!!  There is something for everybody.  Whether you are looking for a straightforward practical book or something philosophical and inspirational you’ll find a great recommendation straight from a thought leader for nonprofits. Here’s the wishlist….

Recommended by me. I wrote about this book in September and how I used it at a Board retreat to do a nonprofit lifecycle analysis.  I highly recommend it and conducting a lifecycle analysis on your organization.   Building Nonprofit Capacity provides a modern, updated approach to an important subject and you won’t find another current resource available specific to nonprofits. The model focuses on growth and sustainability and provides realistic characteristics of organizations at various stages of their lifecycle.

by Howard Rheingold and Anthony Weeks 
Recommended by Beth Kanter. This book will enhance your understanding of digital media and its interconnectedness with all aspects of life.  It captures how to use social media intelligently, humanely and mindfully.  Bring your understanding of the net to a new level.

The Nonprofit Business Plan: A Leader's Guide to Creating a Successful Business Model by David La Piana, Heather Gowdy, Lester Olmstead-Rose and Brent Copen
David LaPiana is known as a forward thinking nonprofit strategic planning expert and this book looks at the economic and operational requirements for strategy to succeed.

The Fundraiser's Guide to Irresistible Communications by Jeff Brooks  

Recommended by Kathleen Brennan and Marc Pitman so it MUST be a winner.  Even the title makes you want to read it. Amazon features 5 star reviews by other fundraising notables.  This is a must have for any fundraiser’s bookshelf.

Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity   by Mario Morino

Recommended by Nell Edgington and Anne Ackerman.  Nell and Anne work with nonprofits to develop more effective organizations.  Their work is outcomes oriented and Anne says that Mario Morino “brings a knowledgeable perspective to the discussion of measuring nonprofit impact.”    Excellent reviews on Amazon too.  Big Bonus – this book is inexpensive and available for free on Kindle.


Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World by Beth Kanter and KD Paine

Recommended by J Lasica.  As long as we are talking about measuring, you definitely want to have this new book by Beth Kanter and KD Paine on your list.  Beth is the queen of the networked nonprofit and KD is of measurement.  Together they can help you bring your social media efforts to a new level by adding the all important ingredient of measurement.

Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications by Sarah Durham
Recommended by John Haydon.
  John is not subtle in his recommendation: “If you run a nonprofit, you need to buy this book. Period. Brandraising is the smartest book written on branding for causes and organizations.” Branding is about a lot more than coming up with a catchy phrase and the right colors.  Sarah Durham demystifies what can be a difficult topic and explains clearly its depth.

Facebook Marketing For Dummies by John Haydon, Paul Dunay and Richard Krueger
Recommended by me.  I was lucky to win a copy of John’s new book by leaving a comment on his facebook page.  If you are involved in working with a nonprofit and their facebook presence you NEED to have this book.  Whether it is understanding your target audience, using applications, engaging fans or measuring with insights you will learn what you need to become an expert with this book.

Recommended by Debra Beck.  Debra says”that this book really brings home the importance of developing, communicating and organizing around a compelling mission.  Particularly useful are the exercises and resources – makes it not only inspiring but practical.”  Thanks Debra – I’m adding this one to my list as this is an important topic in my work.

Recommended by Heather Carpenter. Heather uses this book in college level classes that she teaches. If you know a small nonprofit that wants to get started with using social media but has a limited budget and limited know-how, this book is the must have primer.  This book gets 5 star reviews from people getting started using social media for nonprofits. 

This year, for the first time, there are two eBooks recommended.

Lies, White Lies, and Accounting Practices; Why nonprofit overhead doesn't mean what you think it means By Saundra Schimmelpfennig
Recommended by Matt Koltermann. Matt makes a strong call out for this 20 page ebook and has this to say.The idea that a nonprofit should be primarily evaluated by how much it spends on "overhead" has always frustrated me since it's so easily manipulated.  Schimmelpfennig's 20-page book exposes the reasons why it's an outdated metric and armed me with the knowledge I needed to have informed conversations about why perpetuating this method does more harm than good to nonprofits and donors alike.”

Check it out here. 

Since this is Marc Pitman of Fundraising Coach fame, you can get this  any way you want.  Originally, a live seminar in Montreal, you can get this as audio only, audio with PowerPoint slides on a flash drive file or as an eBook pdf file.  Only Marc would give you all of these options.  And no one can be as inspiring and fun to listen to as you learn.
Check it out here

Giveaway Details
If you would like an opportunity to win a signed copy of Building Nonprofit Capacity by John Brothers and Anne Sherman just leave a comment here about a book you would recommend or visit my facebook page and leave a comment with your recommendation on the post about this giveaway.  The winner will be chosen from all comments made by midnight, December 2, 2012. 


Cheryl Collins said...

An offer from the Leap of Reason team:

We’re happy to share a FREE print copy of Leap of Reason with individuals who email us at Please include your contact information (mailing address, organization, etc.)and we'll mail you a book. We also have additional options for leaders who want to provide copies of the book for their staff, boards, and other stakeholders. We don’t want even a minimal price on Amazon to keep leaders from having a print copy of the book.

Best, Cheryl Collins

Sybil Stershic said...

Great list, Marion. I would like to add two books to your list: "From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Successful Volunteer Involvement" by Susan J. Ellis; also "How to Make Your Board Dramatically More Effective, Starting Today: A Board Member's Guide to Asking the Right Questions" by Gayle L. Gifford.

Lindy Eriksan said...

Although I like reading fictional novels, I take time to pick up self-help books. It's good to gather yourself up together and gear towards self-improvement.