Even the most seasoned nonprofit professionals need to hear new perspectives and learn new skills from time to time. That’s where some good books come in! Here’s our 2021 round-up of nonprofit management books every leader should read.
1. The Non-Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success by Steve Rothschild
For years, top business leader Steve Rothschild led a successful for-profit company; then he decided he wanted to leap into the nonprofit world. But his business approach stayed the same, so he ran his nonprofit organization like a for-profit company.
His book guides donors, agencies, and policymakers and offers lessons on how you can improve your nonprofit’s results.
2. Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days Of Rejection by Jia Jiang
Rejection is something every nonprofit professional experience at least once. Whether it’s a board decision you don’t agree with or losing a major donation, rejection can be challenging to overcome. But Jia Jiang’s inspiring and entertaining account of conquering his fear of rejection offers a brand-new perspective on how to turn “no” into “yes.”
His “100 days of rejection” experiment aimed to desensitize himself from the pain of rejection and help him overcome that fear. He poured his experience into this interesting book, which teaches every reader how to bounce back from setbacks, perfect their initial risk and turn setbacks into launch points.
3. The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine
This is a great guide to help your nonprofit organization navigate our social media-powered world. You’ll find valuable advice on leveraging connections through social media platforms that can help your nonprofit make an even greater impact.
4. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by James C. Collins
This book is a result of five years’ work by Collins’ 21-person research team, who read and coded more than 6,000 articles, generated 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 MB of digital data.
You’ll find this book informative, surprising and even upsetting. Collins shares seven characteristics of companies that moved from “good to great” and how a good leader can become a great one, capable of building something that will last long after his or her lifetime.
5. How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work: Seven Languages for Transformation by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
Harvard psychologists Kegan and Lahey pose some important questions such as “Why is there such a big gap between our hopes, intentions and decisions?” and “Why do we find it difficult to make important changes, and even when we do, why are they so frequently short?”
The authors take the reader on a journey designed to help you arrive at your own answers and resolve the conflict between what you intend to do and what you actually can do.
Whether you’re just starting at your first nonprofit organization or you’ve been a leader for years, these must-read books can help you reach your goals and achieve success. Happy reading!
By Jackie Sue Griffin, MBA, MS