Great leadership is a cornerstone of business success, providing the foundation for any successful organization.
With that in mind, we’ve asked award-winning thought leader, author, speaker, and non-profit expert, Beth Kanter, to hand-pick her favorite books on how to thrive within the non-profit sector.
Her top reads will give you a 360-degree view of everything non-profits have to offer, and how you can succeed in the sector. On top of that, Sage has an array of non-profit business advice columns complete with expert training, success hub and product choice to help deepen your knowledge and sharpen those skills.
The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact Without Burnout by Beth Kanter & Aliza Sherman
My book was the first to cover workplace wellbeing for non-profit organizations and their leaders. It’s about helping individuals and the organizations they work at to live and work more sustainably.
You’ll find actionable tips, ideas, and examples for how to avoid burnout, create an environment of healthy productivity, and make a difference in the world. The book covers a variety of topics that cover the pillars of self-care for individuals or the Wellness Triad, stress reduction techniques and developing staff wellbeing plans as part of organizational strategy.
Getting work tasks done is important, but how successful you are all depends on relationships and building your network. Susan McPherson is the ultimate connector and networker and shares her best tips.
As a “serial connector” and communications expert, McPherson has a lifetime of experience building genuine connections in and out of work. Her methodology is broken down into three simple steps: Gather, Ask, Do.
Guide to Nonprofit Leadership by Joan Garry
This book was written by the non-profit sector’s amazing leadership guru Joan Garry. Joan’s advice is practical and dispensed with wonderful storytelling and humor.
Drawing on her own experiences as a non-profit E.D., a board leader, a volunteer and a donor Joan shares her stories and introduces you to a host of new characters she has met since 2017. Board and staff leaders will see themselves in these folks, recognizing the mistakes and celebrating the successes along the way.
Topics within the book include the maximizing the superpowers of small budgets, building a culture of storytelling in your organization (a fundraising key!), and crisis anticipation.
Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals (2nd Edition) by Laila Brenner & Darian Rodriguez Heyman
This is the book that I wish I had on my desk 35 years ago when I embarked upon my first job as an executive director of a non-profit.
It covers everything you need to run a small non-profit with confidence. And, if you enjoy this book, the companion book, Nonprofit Fundraising 101: A Practical Guide to Easy to Implement Ideas and Tips from Industry Experts edited by Darian Rodriguez Heyman is also worth having.
The book covers all aspects of non-profit management, including:
- Fundraising from individuals, companies, and foundations
- Online fundraising, social networking, and effective use of technology
- Marketing, public relations, and events
- Board and volunteer engagement
- Human resources and career planning
- Lobbying and advocacy
Taking Charge of Change: How Rebuilders Solve Hard Problems by Paul Shoemaker
Written by one of the preeminent thinkers in the social impact space, this book provides leaders practical advice on how to rebuild in a post-pandemic world.
As the book states: Taking Charge of Change is written for anyone seeking to be the driver of real change and an integral part of rebuilding the structures and foundations of American communities and companies throughout the decade ahead.
A practical and tactical guide to creating social media and community for non-profit social media managers.
Julia wrote this book to give you, and nonprofit social media managers like you, a simple, actionable, and practical framework to transform your current social media efforts in just 90 days.
Writing from first-hand experience, Julia’s book will help you make educated and informed decisions about your own social media work and the ways in which your organization can fit into and adapt to the constantly changing digital world, without losing your mind.
Need more great book recommendations to boost your business? Subscribe and stay tuned for the next book club blog on Sage Advice!
With more than three decades of experience in nonprofit sector emerging technology, training, and capacity building, Beth is an in-demand keynote speaker and workshop leader. She is an expert in participatory facilitation techniques such as design thinking, peer learning and, and has delivered training for nonprofits around the world. Beth has been named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company and one of BusinessWeek’s “Voices of Innovation for Social Media.”