The Ultimate Book List For Nonprofit Leaders In 2022

Do you want to overturn harmful social norms and structural injustice? This crowdsourced reading list, recommended by GlobalGiving’s nonprofit partners, will give you perspectives on inequality and philanthropy that can inform your work.


Here are 9 recommended books about structural injustice for nonprofits:

1. “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson

Cover of "Caste: The Origins of Our DiscontentsIsabel Wilkerson paints a vivid portrait of an unseen phenomenon: how modern America has been shaped by a hidden caste system. Learn more.

Recommended by: Jasmine Tyler from Free Minds

2. “The Bright Continent” by Dayo Olopade

nonprofit leader readingDayo Olopade takes us through the vast sub-Saharan African community, attempting to discover how it tackles its toughest challenges. Learn more.

Recommended by: Jessica Crawford from Self Help International

3. “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire

Educator Paulo Freire details and analyzes the permanent underclass of the underprivileged and minorities that reside in Western cultures. Learn more.

Recommended by: Norah Owaraga from CPAR Uganda Ltd

4. “Toxic Charity” by Robert D. Lupton

nonprofit leader reading “Toxic Charity” highlights the complex issues facing modern charity efforts and focuses on how to create sustainable change for the global community. Learn more.

Recommended by: Nora Tobin from Self Help International

“A must-read for volunteers who partner with your organization (and great for staff and board, too). Our partners who have read the book become better partners!” —Nora

5. “The Moment of Lift” by Melinda Gates

nonprofit leader readingMelinda Gates reveals what she believes to be the key to solving the world’s most complex issues: lift women, lift the world. Learn more.

Recommended by: Sharon Runge from Kenya Connect

“I was a bit skeptical when I started it…was it another wealthy woman writing about ‘doing good’ in the world? What I found was a book that gave me insight into the complexities of the work of the nonprofit world and how so many of the issues that we work on are intertwined with other issues.” —Sharon

6. “People First” by Stan Burkey

nonprofit leader readingA guide to participatory development. Stan Burkey provides essential knowledge to successful recruitment, training, support, and cross-sector relations. Learn more.

Recommended by: Norah Owaraga from CPAR Uganda Ltd

7. “The Combahee River Collective Statement” by Combahee River Collective

In 1974, a group of Black women came together in Boston. Together, they wrote this statement, unearthing the complexities of Black feminism, intersectionality, and identity. Learn more.

Recommended by: Mita Radhakrishnan from Auroville Language Laboratory

“[This statement] fundamentally changed how I viewed inequality.”

8. “Winners Take All” by Anand Giridharadas

nonprofit leader readingThis read begs the question: Why do we leave it to the top 1% to solve the world’s biggest problems? Learn more.

Recommended by: Miranda Cleland from Aid Afghanistan for Education

9. “Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom To Heal Divides and Restore Balance” by Edgar Villanueva

Edgar Villanueva seeks to heal the philanthropy sector by drawing on traditions from Indigenous wisdom. Learn more.

Recommended by: Kayla O’Neill from GlobalGiving

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Featured Photo: Books for Afghan Women and Children by Afghan Institute of Learning
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