We are in the midst of summer in the Northern Hemisphere—the time of year when we try to relax, get away, and read a book or two. (I suppose those in the middle of winter south of the Equator are trying to relax a bit too.) If you’re planning a getaway, or just looking for a good summer read, here are few books you should add to your reading list: 

Retention Fundraising: The New Art and Science of Keeping Your Donors for Life by Roger Craver

If your nonprofit truly cares about keeping its donors, and it should, then this book is required reading for fundraisers. Roger’s years of research have uncovered why donors stop giving and how nonprofits can build lasting commitment. The paperback format makes it easy to dog-ear pages that you’re going to want to reference again and again.

Nonprofit Fundraising 101 by Darian Rodriguez Heyman

New to the world of fundraising or know someone who is just starting out in their career? Heyman’s latest book covers everything from developing a fundraising plan to engaging your board and measuring results. The book contains advice from several nonprofit experts, including myself, and has plenty of case studies too.

How to Turn Your Words Into Money: The Master Fundraiser’s Guide to Persuasive Writing by Jeff Brooks

If you or someone you love writes fundraising appeals, then Jeff Brooks’ latest book is a fantastic resource. He takes the time to explain why fundraising writing is different, the common pitfalls writers make, and plenty of examples of how to get it right. With so much talk about the importance of storytelling, it’s good to know there’s a book that guides you through the process.

Social Movements for Good: How Companies and Causes Create Viral Change by Derrick Feldmann

We are seeing a lot of changes in how individuals, nonprofits, companies, and movements interact. Feldmann’s new book explores the convergence of these trends with examples and insights. This is one of those books where you read a chapter and then frantically write down lots of ideas and notes that come into your head.

The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout by Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman

This book doesn’t officially come out until October, but you can pre-order it now. Kanter and Sherman are really on to something with this new book. If you’re not taking care of yourself, then it’s hard to take care of the mission. Individuals and organizations need sustainable approaches to keeping themselves and their teams performing at a high level.

Happy reading…



Steve MacLaughlin is a Director of Analytics at Blackbaud, the leading provider of technology and services to the nonprofit sector. Steve has spent 20+ years driving innovation with a broad range of companies, government institutions, and nonprofit organizations.

MacLaughlin has been featured as a fundraising and nonprofit expert in many mainstream publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, USA Today, The NonProfit Times, Bloomberg, and has appeared on NPR.

He is a frequent speaker at events including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), American Marketing Association (AMA), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA), Giving Institute Summer Symposium, National Association of Independent School (NAIS), Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), Institute of Fundraising National Convention, Civil Society Conference, Resoure Alliance’s Fundraising Online, and a keynote speaker at such events as the Crescendo Practical Planned Giving Conference.

Steve serves on the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) Board of Directors and supports its focus on both the growth and professionalism of the nonprofit technology field as well as building knowledge and information sharing capacity throughout the sector.

He is a frequent blogger, published author of a chapter in the book People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, and is a co-editor of the book Internet Management for Nonprofits: Strategies, Tools & Trade Secrets. His latest book, Data Driven Nonprofits, will be published in September 2016.

Steve earned both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Science degree in Interactive Media from Indiana University.

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