A Few Good Books

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With the Internet at our fingertips, we tend to look on-line for our information and resources these days. However, Volunteer Victoria has a very comprehensive library of non-profit resources. These include publications on board development, non-profit management, fundraising, volunteer management, organizational development and more. 
 
The Management of Nonprofits 

 At the top of our reading list this month is The Management of Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations in Canada, second edition. Written by an expert team led by Vic Murray, our resident expert in Non Profit Management, this text provides a very comprehensive look at non-profits in Canada today.
 
The second edition, written after the recent economic downtown, addresses these trends and the new realities that non-profit leaders face these days.
The text begins with a look at how the management of non-profits differs from management within either government or business. The text astutely notes that non profit leaders must often be “Janus-faced” as the interests of their funders and clients are frequently unrelated, and sometimes competing.
 
Michael H. Hall of Imagine Canada is the major contributor for Chapter 2. This section explores the scope, functions, contributions and resources of the sector, as well as the strengths and challenges faced by non-profits. The challenges of external funding are highlighted, along with the impact of diminishing revenues from government.
 
Other chapters address key areas such as Board Governance (including a diagnostic checklist), the Role of the Executive Director, the Legal Context of Non-profit Management, Human Resources, Financial Management, Resource Development and IT. Each of these chapters provides an in-depth analysis of a specific theme and can be read independently. Together, the sections provide a very comprehensive view of non-profit management in Canada today.

Causewired 

On a different but very topical theme, Tom Watson’s Causewired  – plugging in, getting involved, changing the world, looks at the impact of social media on philanthropy and social change.
 
With some excellent examples and case studies, such as Hurricane Katrina, Darfur and the 2008 US election, Watson shows how blogs, social networking and on-line giving platforms are playing a growing role in social engagement and activism.
 
This fascinating book shows what is happening today as a result of individuals identifying an issue or cause and rapidly connecting with others to generate action, engagement, funds and change. The success of the micro loan site Kiva and the speed/volume at which funds were raised on-line for the recent earthquake in Haiti, provide a strong testament to the future direction of giving and social change.

by Val Green, Executive Director
Volunteer Victoria

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