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10 Summer “Must Reads” for the Inspired Nonprofit Leader


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"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss


These wise words by Dr. Seuss perfectly capture the essence of lifelong learning, especially for those dedicated to making a positive impact through the nonprofit sector. As a nonprofit professional, your passion for a cause is commendable. But the journey of creating change is a continuous one. With its slower pace, summer offers a valuable opportunity to step back, recharge, and equip yourself with fresh knowledge and perspectives.


This curated list shares 10 captivating reads specifically chosen to address the unique needs of nonprofit leaders. Whether you're seeking to build a stronger team, become a more inspiring leader, or deepen your impact, there's a book here to provide the tools and insights you need to excel. 

So, grab your favorite reading spot, crack open a book, and embark on a summer learning adventure. You might just be surprised by its profound influence on your work and the lives you touch.


Building a Stronger Team


  • Who: The A Method For Hiring by Geoff Smart and Randy Street: Your team is the backbone of your nonprofit. This book provides a proven method for recruiting top talent. Learn how to identify the right characteristics and skills, ensuring you bring in individuals who are passionate about your mission and equipped to make a significant impact.

  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (Repeat): A dysfunctional team can hinder even the most well-intentioned nonprofit. Lencioni's insightful fable pinpoints the five key issues that plague teams and offers practical solutions to overcome them. Build a collaborative, high-performing team within your organization for greater success.

Leadership and Influence

  • Dare To Lead by Brené Brown: Vulnerability is a superpower, especially in leadership. Brown's book empowers you to embrace vulnerability, build trust within your team, and cultivate a more courageous and authentic work environment in your nonprofit.

  • Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek: This thought-provoking book challenges traditional leadership models. It teaches the importance of putting your team's needs first and fostering a culture of care and trust, which leads to a more resilient and successful nonprofit.

  • CEO Excellence by Carolyn Dewar, Scott Keller, and Vikram Malhotra: Aspiring to exceptional leadership? This book delves into the mindsets that distinguish the best CEOs. Learn to embrace uncertainty, develop a clear vision, and make strategic decisions that propel your nonprofit forward.

Inspiration and Personal Growth

  • Truman by David McCullough: Immerse yourself in the story of President Harry S. Truman, a leader known for his unwavering commitment to public service. Gain inspiration from his decisiveness, integrity, and ability to make tough choices for the greater good.

  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: A timeless classic with profound wisdom. Rediscover the importance of seeing the world with an open heart, valuing human connection, and prioritizing what truly matters – lessons that resonate deeply in both your personal and professional life as a nonprofit leader.

Enhancing Your Nonprofit Impact

  • The Soul Of Money by Lynne Twist: Reimagine fundraising with Twist's unique perspective. Discover how to connect with donors on a deeper level, focusing on their desire to make a difference. Learn how to create a framework for fundraising that fosters a sense of purpose and shared humanity.

  • Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo: Working in low-resource communities? Gain valuable insights from this book by renowned economists. They explore how people living in poverty make economic decisions, helping you tailor your programs and interventions for maximum impact.

  • The Agenda Mover by Samuel B. Bacharach: Change is inevitable in the nonprofit sector. This book equips you with the tools to navigate change effectively within your organization. Learn how to understand the dynamics of change, address resistance, and build consensus to move your nonprofit's agenda forward.

Keep the Momentum Going With the Change-Makers Nonprofit Book Club! 

Remember, summer reading is just the beginning! Consider joining the Change-Makers Nonprofit Book Club for ongoing support and connection with fellow nonprofit leaders. This free virtual book club offers a welcoming space to discuss thought-provoking reads, share insights and tips, and learn from each other's experiences. Join us!





 

Kristin Chute head shot

Kristin Chute is a freelance writer with a passion for helping nonprofits increase their reach and impact. She has written for companies offering SaaS solutions, nonprofits directly, and donor loyalty programs.


Kristin believes in the power of nonprofit organizations to change the world. With expertise stemming from her career and personal connection to volunteering at her childhood summer camp, she shares insights to help nonprofits increase their reach, engage supporters, and amplify fundraising efforts.

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