The Paradigm-Shifting Nonprofit Leader’s Essential Reading List

Nonprofits are often working toward overturning social norms and structural injustices. This crowdsourced list of recommended reading for nonprofits, suggested by GlobalGiving’s community-led nonprofit partners, gives you the background and context to help you do that.


 

Recommended reading for nonprofits working to become more community-led:

1. “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.

2. “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

3. “Toxic Charity” by Robert D. Lupton

 
nonprofit leader reading“Toxic Charity” highlights the complex issues facing modern charity efforts, focusing 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

4. “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 our intertwined with other issues.” —Sharon

5. “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

6. “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.” —Mita

7. “Winners Take All” by Anand Giridharadas

 
nonprofit leader readingThis read begs the questions: 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

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