The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

Summer reading picks for changemakers and fundraisers

Recently we asked some of our favorite fundraisers and social do-gooders to share their summer reading lists. If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s a good starting point.

The top pick for the summer appears to be Give and Take by Adam Grant. Sasha Dichter, Chief Innovation Officer of Acumen, along with Network for Good’s Kate Olsen and Dan Cohen, put this hot read at the top of the list. Give and Take was also Beth Kanter’s pick (she recently shared in-depth thoughts on this book on her blog).

Another popular recommendation was The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julian Smith. John Haydon has this on his reading list, which is a pretty impressive endorsement!

Amy Sample Ward, CEO of NTEN, shared her summer reading strategy: “Summer is a great time to read something totally different. Get away from all of those work-related, business books and pick up something that is purely for fun. I find that when I let my mind truly wander and dive into a story, that I get refreshed in the light-hearted and people-centric side of our work and that refreshed perspective comes through as I draft appeals and think about calls to action. On my list: Let the Great World Spin, The History of Love, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.”

Some more summer reading ideas:

Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are by Carlin Flora
“How does this relate to nonprofit marketing and fundraising? Understanding how to foster better relationships in our personal lives is key to fundraisers understanding how to foster meaningful relationships with our donors. There are many parallels that we can draw between our pursuit of being better friends and being better relationship builders with our constituencies.”
— Alia McKee, principal at Sea Change Strategies and founder of Lifeboat

The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb
“A must-read, although it will be slow-going for some. Most fundraising programs are dependent upon a very small group of people, and this book explains why.”
— Jeff Shuck, CEO of Event 360

Inspired – How to create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
— Scott Harrison, Founder and CEO of charity: water

Joe Waters offers up a change of pace with his choice:Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick. Joe tells us, “This book on the first major engagement of the American Revolution had colonists seriously outnumbered by redcoats. Nevertheless, the colonists stood their ground, inflicted heavy casualties and almost won. What fundraisers can learn: Holding your ground when you want to run can lead to victory … or at least a failure you’re sure to learn a lot from!”

Are any of these books on your summer reading list? What would you add? Chime in by adding a comment below and tell us your reading picks for the summer — whether you’re focusing on reading for business or pleasure!

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About This Blog

Connie Poulos
Senior Associate, Copywriter

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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