You are here

Lending Library


The Brand Idea: Managing Nonprofit Brands with Integrity, Democracy, and Affinity

by Nathalie Laidler-Kylander and Julia Shepard Stenzel

Laidler-Kylander and Stenzel outline a new framework for nonprofit brand management which they term the Brand IDEA (Integrity, Democracy, and Affinity). By drawing on interviews with over seventy organizations, The Brand Idea examines how nonprofits worldwide are developing and implementing new ways of thinking about their organizational brands through a strategic, participatory approach that promotes clarity and collaboration.

Successful Marketing Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations

by Barry J. McLeish

A marketing campaign can help a nonprofit reach those who need its services, woo donors, and expand its community influence. With the help of anecdotes and case studies, this book demonstrates techniques for analyzing the market, developing a comprehensive marketing plan, and following through to support fundraising, promote new services, and enhance your organization’s reputation and visibility.

Strategic Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations

by Philip Kotler and Alan Andreasen

Reflecting the most recent, relevant information in the field, this best-selling book offers readers a practical foundation for marketing in nonprofit organizations. Its coverage encompasses the entire marketing process, providing valuable insights on strategic evaluations, positioning, market targeting, and more for managers and future managers of nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, and government agencies.


The Nonprofit Mergers Workbook Part I: The Leader’s Guide to Considering, Negotiating, and Executing a Merger

by David La Piana with Robert Harrington

This handbook is the perfect starting point for any nonprofit exploring a possible merger. Full merger case studies, decision trees, worksheets, checklists, tips, milestones, and an extensive resource section give concrete assistance with merger plans and implementation. A special chapter written for nonprofit organizational consultants explains their roles and responsibilities in assisting clients interested in a merger.

The Nonprofit Mergers Workbook Part II: Unifying the Organization After a Merger

by La Piana Associates

Nonprofit Mergers Part II provides guidance in creating a comprehensive plan to achieve integration once a merger has occurred. It addresses large, strategic issues as well as small, practical ones, and includes sample integration plans, worksheets, checklists, and tips and quotes from leaders of merged organizations.

Nonprofit Management

What Businesses Execs Don’t Know—but Should—About Nonprofits

by Les Silverman & Lynn Talientos

In this article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, 11 executives who have played leadership roles in both for-profits and nonprofits reveal the critical differences between the two, and suggest ways that business and nonprofit leaders can use this information to create a more effective social sector.

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Recruiting and Managing Volunteers

by John L. Lipp

Volunteers provide vital services to millions of people each year, but they’re one of the most challenging work forces to manage and retain. Lipp has managed these workers for over 20 years and shares his experience in recruiting, balancing paid and volunteer staff, creating schedules that work, and addressing the transient nature of volunteers, motivation, and retention.

Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making

by Sam Kaner

This book provides the tools to put democratic values into practice in groups and organizations. It contains graphics, guidelines and hand outs and presents more than 200 valuable tools designed to help groups increase participation and collaboration, promote mutual understanding, honor diversity, and make effective participatory decisions. It is perfect for managers, participants, and students of working group dynamics.

Forces for Good: the Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits

by Leslie R. Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant

Forces for Good argues that great nonprofits spend as much time working outside their four walls as they do managing their internal operations, using the power of leverage to become greater forces for good. This landmark book reveals the six powerful practices of twelve high-impact nonprofits, based on extensive surveys and interviews by the authors.

Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations

Panel on the Nonprofit Sector

This pamphlet contains 33 principles that are designed to guide board members and staff leaders of every charitable organization as they work to improve their own operations. It is straightforward advice that is often applicable to sectors outside nonprofits as well. Its companion workbook (which ACT will send along with the pamphlet), The Principles Workbook: Steering your Board Toward Good Governance and Ethical Practice, breaks down each principle and provides more direction for how to apply them, legal issues to consider for each principle, and how to find more resources on the topic.

The Source: Twelve Principles of Governances that Power Exceptional Boards


Exceptional boards add significant value to their organizations. Aspirational in nature, the twelve principles in this book offer chief executives a description of an empowered board that is a strategic asset to be leveraged. They provide board members with a vision of what is possible and a way to add lasting value to the organizations they lead.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

by Chip and Dan Heath

In Switch, the Heath brothers address motivating employees, family members, and ourselves in their analysis of why we too often fear change. Change is not inherently frightening, but our ability to alter our habits can be complicated by the disjunction between our rational and irrational minds: the trick is to find the balance between our powerful drives and our reason. Through lively examples, the Heaths discuss how to modify our behaviors and businesses.

Organization Assessment/Consulting

Outcome Mapping: Building Learning and Reflection into Development Programs

by Fred Carden

“Outcome mapping” provides a feasible way to measure the impacts that organizations’ programs have on their intended beneficiaries, by shifting away from assessing the program’s products and instead focusing on changes in behavior, relationships, and actions in the people and organizations it works with directly. This publication explains the outcome mapping approach and provides guidance with workshop design and facilitation.

Powered by Pro Bono: The Nonprofits Step-by-Step Guide to Scoping, Securing, Managing, and Scaling Pro Bono Resources

The acclaimed Taproot Foundation shares its pro bono best practices and shows nonprofit managers how to apply them-in strategic management, marketing, technology, and leadership-in a low-to-no-cost way. The book offers keys to identifying opportunities for using pro bono sources, recruiting pro bono resources, and managing pro bono projects effectively.

Succeeding with Consultants: Self-Assessment for the Changing Nonprofit

by Barbara Kibbe and Fred Setterberg

Succeeding with Consultants provides practical advice for nonprofit executives eager to improve their organization’s performance, and guides you through the process of selecting and utilizing consultants. The authors’ practical advice and useful self-assessment tools give the knowledge and confidence to select and manage a consulting relationship. This excellent primer was supported with funds from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.


Giving 2.0

by Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen

Our philanthropic tendencies, though natural, are often reactive. We give in response to disasters, organizations directly requesting our help, or the prompting of our friends. Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen wants to change reactive giving to proactive giving. Giving 2.0 is a comprehensive guide for how to change the way you give. Through personal stories and a wealth of knowledge and experience, Laura explains how to harness technology, collaboration, and entrepreneurship to create lasting social impact.

Stanford Conversations in Philanthropy

Edited by Julie Juergen and Bruce Sievers

What is the role of philanthropy in society? In this anthology, thought leaders reflect on the purposes, accountability, and practices of twenty-first century philanthropy, including the purpose of giving and issues that arise with the disposition of private wealth. These reflections are based on a lecture series sponsored by Stanford GSB’s Center for Social Innovation and Haas Center for Public Service.


The New How: Creating Business Solutions through Collaborative Strategy

by Nilofer Merchant

After many years of working with Apple, Adobe, HP, and many other companies, Merchant argues that the best way to create a winning strategy is to include employees at all levels, helping to create plans they believe in and can help implement. He describes how today’s corporate directors, executives, and managers can transform their traditional, top-down approach into effective collaboration.

Play to Win: the Nonprofit Guide to Competitive Strategy

by David La Piana

Play to Win offers nonprofit leaders guidance in developing their organizations’ unique competitive advantages to advance its mission. This book demonstrates how a nonprofit can enhance its chances for both programmatic and financial success by being a more effective competitor, and is filled with practical tools for assessing a nonprofit’s position in the marketplace and developing winning competitive strategies.

Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Strengthening and Sustaining Organizational Achievement, Third Edition

by John M. Bryson

Bryson’s book introduces a new and thoughtful strategic planning model. This new edition offers detailed guidance on implementing the planning process and making it work in any organization; introduces new material on creating public value, stakeholder analysis, and strategy mapping; includes information about organizational designs that encourage strategic thought and action; and contains a wealth of updated examples and cases.

The Successful Business Plan: Secrets and Strategies

by Rhonda M. Abrams

The Successful Business Plan includes a sample business plan, dozens of worksheets, financial evaluation techniques, and over 200 tips from successful CEOs, as well as venture capitalists and bankers. The sample business plan provides a guideline to follow, and breaks the chore down into easy-to-manage steps, so you can end up with a fundable proposal.


The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the 21st Century

by Ed. John Gastil and Peter Levine

This handbook combines case material from many cities and types of institutional settings with reflection on core democratic principles. It generates hope for a renewed democracy tempered with critical scholarship and political realism. This handbook discusses the innovation of citizens around the world and shows how the varied practices of deliberative democracy are part of a larger civic renewal movement.

Any volunteer who wishes can have access to the resources listed below.

If you are interested in borrowing one or more of the books, please contact ACT.

Funding Models

Finding Your Funding Model: A Practical Approach to Nonprofit Sustainability

by Peter Kim, Gail Perreault, and William Foster

Building on years of primary research and consulting experience with dozens of nonprofits, The Bridgespan Group has developed a 6-step approach to help organizations identify and develop funding models that can best position them to achieve programmatic aspirations. Finding Your Funding Model provides practical guidance for the steps required and the decisions and tradeoffs that will confront nonprofit leaders along the way.

From Potential to Action: Bringing Social Impact Bonds to the US

by McKinsey & Co.

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are a British pilot financing model in which philanthropic funders take on the financial risk of expanding preventive social programs. Nonprofits deliver the program to more people who need it; the government pays only if the program succeeds. McKinsey & Co. explains this model’s structure and stakeholders and assesses how SIBs might be applied in homelessness and criminal justice programs.

Fundraising when Money is Tight: A Strategic and Practical Guide to Surviving Tough Times and Surviving in the Future

by Mal Warwick

Warwick offers specific, practical steps to cut costs and improve fundraising performance in times of trouble, including donor-focused relationship building, strategic thinking, top-notch strategy, and competence. The book details realistic ideas to survive in difficult times and prepare organizations for better times to come.