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4 thought-provoking reads for fundraisers

Posted June 26, 2017 by Virginia Davidson

It’s no secret that fundraisers are busy people. With all the priorities you’re juggling, it’s easy to focus on the day-to-day demands and forget to give yourself some time for contemplation. Personally, I’m most likely to get inspired or energized when I can park those priorities in the back of my mind for a bit and read about an idea or concept that’s new to me. Drawing connections between seemingly unrelated topics can be illuminating and incredibly productive for your daily work. The following books may very well cause you to have your own light bulb moment!


Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson

Why do we like what we like? What makes something become popular? Derek Thompson explores the balance between the comfort of the familiar and the tension of the new to uncover the hidden reasons why certain songs, movies, and products become hits.





Patience and Fortitude: Power, Real Estate, and the Fight to Save a Public Library by Scott Sherman

If you work in a nonprofit, you’ve likely heard the argument that nonprofits should be run like corporations. But is that really the magic solution for the challenges of the nonprofit sector? Sherman reveals how bottom-line business logic very nearly doomed this iconic public research library.





Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life by Gretchen Rubin

Rubin presents the Four Tendencies framework, which sorts people into four categories based on how we tend to respond to outer expectations and inner expectations. Are you an Upholder, a Questioner, a Rebel, or an Obliger? Take Gretchen’s quiz to find out! Then dive into Better Than Before to learn why Rubin is so adamant that “habits are the invisible architecture of our daily life. If we change our habits, we change our lives.”




David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

If you’ve ever felt like your nonprofit is the underdog in its fight to change the world, Gladwell’s exploration of the dynamic between underdogs and giants will strike a chord. In this book, Gladwell argues that there’s power in “using what you got.” It’s a lesson in resourcefulness that will resonate with anyone who devotes time and energy to the nonprofit sector.





Looking for more recommended reads for fundraisers?

The LGL team shares 12 of our favorite nonprofit reads here. These books offer practical advice and strategies, insightful case studies, and motivation for nonprofit professionals.

Happy reading!

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