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8 Books for Nonprofit Leaders to Read in 2023

From gaining a deeper understanding of your sector to learning best practices from other nonprofits, reading can be a real investment in your professional growth. And there’s no shortage of great nonprofit books to read!

Looking for some of the best nonprofit books to add to your reading list? Here are eight books for nonprofit leaders and other professionals investing in professional development this year.

1. Making the Ask: The Artful Science of High-value Fundraising

Bernard Ross and Clare Segal’s Making the Ask is dedicated to helping nonprofits ask for donations strategically. Outlining methods that have been used by major organizations to secure gifts of up to $110 million in a single ask, the book’s practical guidance can be valuable for seasoned nonprofit professionals, first-time fundraisers, and proactive board members. 

2. Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership: Because the World Is Counting on You

First published in 2017 and updated to reflect the world-changing events of 2020, Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership is one of the best-selling books for nonprofit leaders. In it, nonprofit consultant Joan Garry offers guidance on topics like managing crises and having an outsized impact, based on the author’s decades of experience working with nonprofit leaders.

3. Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds

Change is constant in the nonprofit world. In Emergent Strategy, Adrienne Maree Brown encourages readers not to fear change but to value and learn from it. The book also offers actionable strategies for better understanding and managing life’s unpredictability.

4. Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up, and Make a Difference

In Social Startup Success, Kathleen Kelly Janus identifies five strategies that nonprofits of all sizes can implement to achieve high growth and financial stability. Each strategy is paired with examples and instructions to provide a blueprint for growth and longevity.

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5. Embracing Equity: Best Practices for Developing and Keeping a Winning Multi-Racial Leadership Team

Written by Janine Hill, PhD, a coach and consultant with over 20 years of experience working in and with nonprofit organizations, Embracing Equity outlines a step-by-step plan for recruiting and retaining a diverse leadership team. You’ll also learn how to communicate to potential candidates that your organization provides a safe, supportive work environment for all. 

6. Robots Make Bad Fundraisers: How Nonprofits Can Maintain the Heart in the Digital Age

In Robots Make Bad Fundraisers, Steven Shattuck argues that modern tools should complement traditional fundraising methods — not replace them. Covering topics like donor management software and social media, the book explains how nonprofits can optimize digital tools to inspire giving. 

7. Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager’s Guide to Getting Results

Managing to Change the World by Alison Green and Jerry Hauser teaches new and experienced nonprofit managers alike how to succeed in their roles. This guide covers everything from setting clear goals to retaining top performers. 

8. Responsive Fundraising: The Donor-centric Framework Helping Today’s Leading Nonprofits Grow Giving

Donor expectations are evolving. In Responsive Fundraising, Gabe Cooper and Mckenna Bailey discuss what data reveals about the modern donor and provide real-world examples of personalized, donor-centric fundraising.

If you enjoy these nonprofit books, why not suggest them to other team members at your organization? And if you want to develop your nonprofit team at scale this year, see how discounted learning solutions from LinkedIn for Nonprofits can help.