Books on the Nonprofit Sector

The books below have been recommended to me from nonprofit managers, directors, and consultants.  Those books that I have read will be marked “Personal Recommendation” and may contain a short personal review.  Each book has a link to its corresponding page on the Barnes & Noble website for further reviews and pricing for your convenience.  (Although, I recommended doing price checks with Amazon books as that site might contain cheaper prices on certain titles.)

Also, check out Beth Kanter’s: 10 Nonprofit Books from 2010!


  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t (Collins) – (Personal Recommendation)
  • Good to Great: For the Social Sector (Collins) – (Personal Recommendation)
  • Managing the Nonprofit Organization: Principles and Practices (Drucker)
  • The Nordstrom Way (Spector & McCarthy)(Personal Recommendation) When I first picked up I wondered what the authors could write 220 pages about customer service; surely, the book must repeat itself.  Not with Nordstrom (a large clothing store like Macys with branches throughout the USA).  Adding to the brief history of the store are case studies and personal narratives that explain how a culture of “putting the customer first” infiltrates every facet of the company.  The book is a must for any company or organization that places the customer/client/recipient at the core of their philosophy.
  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Recruiting and Managing Volunteers (Lipp) – (Personal Recommendation) First, it reads like a manual and less like a book. Second, it was written before the social media explosion so it’s a tad out of date.  With that said, it still chuck-full of ideas, theories, and practical examples on how one can manage and recruit volunteers. My advice, use it as a resource guide and not the “good book” you keep by your bedside — it reads like a text book.
  • The Daily Drucker (Drucker) – (Personal Recommendation) Great book that offers daily insight from , management guru, Peter Drucker.  Each day contains key statements or a “Drucker Proverb” followed by a few thoughtful comments or explanations on topics ranging from innovation, economy, personnel, and management (both for and non-profits companies).  To make the lessons even more constructive each reading concludes with an “Action Point” that challenges the reader to put the idea into practice.





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