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Yes, I am going to contribute to the continuing listification of the Internet. But hey, who doesn't like a good Top Ten list? Here are some books on my shelf that I keep going back to for wisdom and inspiration.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_sustain.jpgNonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability
by Jeanne Bell, Jan Masaoka, Steve Zimmerman

208 pages, published Nov 2010, $28

When it comes to decision-making, as I've written before, we sometimes let our subjective opinions or biases get in the way. Bell, Masaoka, and Zimmerman provide an excellent framework that will help you and your team give importance to the aspects of your planning that deserve it.

 

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The Losers: Any nonprofit that didn't pay attention to CompassPoint's report UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_disturbance.jpgI won't give an analysis since that ground has already been well covered (see here, here, and here). This is the ugly truth, as I have experienced it, finally validated. I have shared this report with many people. Some read it, some didn't. The ones who told me they didn't were the ones who, in my opinion, could have benefitted the most. I suspect that this frustrating divide between development staff and their leadership may be a byproduct of the ongoing professionalization of the fundraising field.

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“I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.” - Emo Philips


We're only human. And as humans we're susceptible to faulty thinking that can derail a project, program, or process at any stage of the game. And no, you are not too smart to fall prey to it and neither am I. In fact, the smarter you are, the better you are at fooling yourself. There's an entire field of study around cognitive biases and the bad news is that they seem to be hard-wired into the human brain. It can be very, VERY, hard to avoid them but awareness, as they say, is the first step.

Here's a few I've seen (and been guilty of) in my nonprofit career:

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