Hello, September! With the start of a new season, I decided that it was time to refresh the format of our monthly resource round up. In addition to useful resources, I’m going to be sharing stories and books that I’ve enjoyed, as well as non-profit stories you should know about. I hope this gives you more inspiration to draw from as you work on your year-end appeals.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalaithi – For the last two years, I’ve been on a bit of a memoir kick. I love reading stories of people’s lives and the way that memoirs are written are often beautiful. This one is no exception. Paul wrote his memoir shortly after he was diagnosed with an aggressive stage 4 lung cancer that eventually spread. His memoir is a meditation on meaning, death, and how we make our way through difficult news. I can’t recommend this enough!
Making Money with Donor Newsletters by Tom Ahern – This book is a gold mine of great advice for fundraisers who want to improve donor communications. I really enjoyed all of the examples and practical tips that Tom shares. He is one of the greatest copywriters in our sector and even if you can’t afford to hire him, you can absolutely benefit from what he shares in this book. Whether you’re just getting started with a newsletter or you want to refresh your current newsletter, read this book!
Stories I’ve Enjoyed
When I heard about Project Empathy, I was pretty excited. The work that they are doing to catalyze social change through virtual reality and radical empathy is incredible. Right now, they work is focused on prison system reform. This interview with Samuel Smith – a former inmate – is amazing.
I’m looking forward to seeing the stories that come from this project Native Americans for Philanthropy is doing. It’s a terrific example of how stories can be used in government advocacy.
For something more lighthearted, you might enjoy reading the stories from the Love Wisconson project.
This one is not a non-profit story, but I want to share it with you anyway. It’s from a blog that I regularly read called The Minimalists and the article is called “Less Stuff, More Sex.” This story is thoughtful, well told, and beautifully extrapolates a tension that will keep you reading.
The Hardest Part of Being a Working Woman by Holly Fussell. This story is not what you think it’s going to be and it brings up some important issues that women face in the workplace. Specifically, sex harassment. Definitely worth a read.
Interviews & Other Resources
I had the pleasure of being interviewed on the CauseVox podcast last month. We talked about year-end fundraising, storytelling, and how organizations can use metrics to get ahead.
Summer might be over, but it’s still worth checking out NAYDO’s Summer Reading List.
You’re Not the Indian I had in Mind. I can’t even tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post. It brings up so many of the important ethical issues that we face when telling stories. This post speaks to some of the complexities of a film project and working with Indigenous peoples.