Listen to the song of the late summer Cicada. Savour that Caesar on a patio. Ignore the aggressive early ‘back to school’ ads and keep resting – summer is NOT over, friends. Unlike the busy busy of the rest of the year, summer is a time when you can read to fuel reflection and feed your idea-mind instead of putting everything right to work. Perhaps you are thinking about how to build capacity for yourself? Grow productivity as a team? Get closer to your mission? Engage your stakeholders, supports and donors more deeply? Here are five reads outside the charity sector but that have very direct implications on our work and strategy - enjoy!
The Stewardship Secret. These bestselling brothers are responsible for the globally read Made to Stick , Switch and Decisive. This book is about the engagement of stakeholders and is rich with social and yes charitable examples of how we create, call out and make memorable moments with those we serve and those who support us. Fundraisers and charity executives are always on the search for non-jargon books on the concept of good donor stewardship and this book step by step describes how to reshape your donor journey – it will fill you with ideas to tweak your own programs without burning all you’ve built to the ground. It’s no accident the image on the cover is lightening in a bottle.
The Power of Moments by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Save your Soul. Managers of people, does managing, hiring and firing chip away at the fibre of your being? Are you on a beach or patio right now with a fermented-libation trying to heal from that part of your life? When I listened to the Harvard Business Podcast with Patty McCord the former head of Human Resources for Netflix talking about modern people management I honestly started to weep because it was the most human conversation on HR I had ever heard in my adult life and it was a Jerry McGuire moment where I wanted to scream ‘ I want that in my life! ‘ and instantly bought this book. It is filled with real world ( remember Netflix wasn’t always rich, it was small scrappy, fighting with giants and went through a lot. Sound like your charity?) knowledge that will help you adapt to the future of work.
Powerful by Patty McCord
Stop marketing, start a movement. Don’t think that just because this book is co-authored by the co-founder of GivingTuesday that it’s ALL about charity. It isn’t. But it’s a must-read for our sector that is gleefully about so much more than charity, but is all about the future of doing good. It focuses on that “New Power” (the original Harvard Business article was such a viral hit it almost demanded the book be written ) in a tribal, viral, digital world that moves so quickly. How can we do traditional ‘marketing’ in a quantum-quick news cycle with so many influencers and yes detractors. It be called “the alternative to Ice-Buckets” and it is wonderful to get some perspective from those who know our sector but have the imagination to think beyond it. It dissects movements like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter as well as the business and traditional strategy that goes into changing course from old to new power.
https://thisisnewpower.com By Jeremey Heimans and Henry Timms
Scale your Side Hustle. How many of you work in the charity sector and have this terrible habit of needing to eat, like every day? Who are so greedy that you feel you are allowed to have a “life” or even *gasp* support a family? Silly charity person, you’re evil overhead ( sorry, trigger word ). This author is a global speaker, author of best-selling books, writer for publications like Harvard Business Review and teaches personal branding to international leaders. But at one time she was the ED of a non-profit and worked in the sector just like you and me. I don’t know about you but I have really got the feeling that the ‘sharing economy’ is a massive social lie and the ‘side hustle’ is not looked upon well by many of our employers – Dorie Clark has a better term knowing that you and I will probably never work for ONE organization for our whole life. Instead we will create, a “portfolio career’. And as much as it will be a little more exhausting to have multiple roles to juggle, the resulting impact and yes income is life giving. Today I see more charity staff with small consulting, speaking, teaching, coaching roles. But it is a mystery to many on how to start, grow and most importantly monetize this skill. This book is a deconstruction, not in theory but actual math and how-to simple language. You don’t need to quit your job, maybe you just even want to articulate what your future might look like ( this is a challenge for many at the top of their current ladder ). This book is for you.
Entrepreneurial You by Dorie Clark
Instant Inspiration. Last year I shared how Tim Ferriss’ book the “Tools of Titans” totally changed my 2017 and was one of the most valuable compendiums of wisdom around business, health and wealth I have ever laid my hands on. Gifted to me, I have gifted copies to others and every single one of them has bought copies as gifts, the ultimate value endorsement. Tim has done it again. Yes he’s a global best-selling author but it is his podcast, downloaded hundred of millions of times ( it will hit a Billion before this decade is over ) where he speaks to global leaders, thinkers, managers and yes donors. The super-power of this book is that it’s really just one page for each person so you can sit down at the cottage, on a beach, on a patch of grass at a park and just open it for instant inspiration and insight in 90 second chunks. This book is like pouring gasoline on the spark of your greatest hopes, ideas, dreams and goals – they will ignite into a bonfire of possibility.
Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris
So! Before we put another glorious summer to rest, fill up on inspiration and ideas to take back to work. And as always, PLEASE add your own book recommendations in the comments below ( especially on Stewardship because we’re all looking for good reads on this ambiguous skill set ). Happy reading, see you after Labour Day.
Paul Nazareth is VP of Education & Development with the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, which brings together everyone who makes strategic philanthropy possible; from Major Gift fundraisers to lawyers, accountants, financial and legal advisors. He has worked with charities big and small, as a philanthropic advisor with a bank and now works to empower the personal legacy of every single Canadian alongside 20 Chapters and thousands of charities in every corner of Canada. Paul is Chair of the Humber College Postgraduate Fundraising Program Advisory Committee, sits on the boards of four charities, a national speaker with the Association of Fundraising Professionals and CAGP who writes on, speaks about and lives in the place where fundraising meets finance and philanthropy. Find him on Linkedin or @UinvitedU on Twitter, he actually wants to talk to you.