Books Every Nonprofit Executive Should Own

If you are in the nonprofit world there are a few books that you should just own. Here are my top 3 books you should own and why. These three books will help you run your board, manage events, and motivate your staff and donors. Good luck and let me what you think of them!

  1. An essential guide to good governance for board leaders at all levels of experience and expertise This bestselling book for nonprofit board members and professionals offers an updated resource that answers the most-commonly asked question on board governance. The book covers such topics as board structure and process, board member recruitment and orientation, board-staff relations, and financial management. This new edition includes updated information on topics that have recently increased in importance including new Form 990; dealing with the financial crisis, risk management, and mergers. I refer to mine all of the time.

2. For event planners, there’s no such thing as a dress rehearsal! Any event you plan and stage is a reflection of your organization’s image — from the initial invitation to onsite operations. Whether you’re planning a product launch, conference, sales meeting, an incentive event, or a gala fund-raiser, remember that the magic of a truly memorable event is in the details, but so is the devil. Whether your event is for 50 or 2,000 people, whether it has a budget of a few thousand dollars, or hundreds of thousands, it has to be perfect. This unique book is loaded with practical advice on:

  • Choosing the best venue
  • Preparing and managing the budget, with sample costing forms included
  • Scheduling, staffing, and collaborating with other related professionals
  • Coordinating food and beverage, décor, entertainment, and themes.

3. Start with Why when motivating donors and employees. In 2009 Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work and, in turn, inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who’ve watched his TED Talk based on Start with Why – the third most popular TED video of all time.

Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?

Start with Why shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way – and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with why.

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