I was encouraged to get going with this blog after reading Seth Godin‘s Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? and Beth Kanter and Allison Fine’s: The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change.
Back in 2010 I had moved jobs, had access to a fabulous library, and was spending significantly more time on public transport This gave me both books and time to read – so I thought I would try to focus on things related to philanthropy and the not for profit sector as well as social media and marketing.
While Seth’s book can sometimes come across as “just get up and do it, stop whingeing, complaining and listening to your ‘lizard brain‘, he is remarkably stimulating and encouraging – ie why not start throwing out some ideas and get going with where you want to be rather than sitting around waiting for something to happen or get to its most perfect iteration before sharing it? So in the spirit of the oft-quoted Steve Jobs on “real artists ship” – which initally sounded a bit strange to me but now makes complete sense (I see now it is the name of a book about Macintosh by Andy Hertzfeld) this blog will now commit to a regular shipping schedule to get ideas out and see how they go.
Other reading I have been dabbling in has been around planned giving, particularly The Art of Planned Giving: Understanding Donors and the Culture of Giving (Wiley Nonprofit Law, Finance and Management Series) by Douglas E White. This book is totally irrelevant to the Australian tax system as we don’t currently have any structures in place which allow donors to gift property and then continue to receive income streams from them – however, I read it through to the very end because it presents some of the very best case studies in relationship management in the philanthropic sector, and very engagingly illustrated what works, what doesn’t work, how boards can or don’t engage and how to improve relationship building through listening, research and trust. This is a book I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend, even though one can skip several bits on annuities and US tax rules.
Last but not least, the keynote speaker at the 2010 Philanthropy Australia conference, Tracey Gary has written Inspired Philanthropy: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Giving Plan and Leaving a Legacy (Kim Klein’s Chardon Press) with Nancy Adess. This initially looks like a rich person’s guide to creating a strategy for their personal giving – but has aspects which anyone who is thinking about donating at whatever level could apply to their thinking in order to get the most value or satisfaction from how they donate.
All of these have helped me feel quite linked through to engaged and active philanthropy and while they are all US titles, I think there is a lot we can learn from them and apply here. I hope you find some of them interesting and appealing.
PS I will doing some paid marketing on this site through Amazon affiliate marketing – but will only include books that I feel are relevant and like – what that means is that if you click through to the links to Amazon and actually buy a book I get a small commission (so far – 6 years on into the blog I have as yet to see any income from this).