Sarah is a contributing guest blogger from Big Duck.
As the founder and principal of Big Duck, a communications firm that works exclusively with nonprofits, I spend a lot of time working with programs, fundraising, and advocacy staff. The people I work with are incredible: through their work they save lives, protect the environment, change opinions, and move the needle on all sorts of issues. They’ve studied social work, political science, philosophy- sometimes even nonprofit management. But few have marketing backgrounds, despite the volume of marketing and communications work they have to do in order to reach audiences, build relationships, and influence behavior.
A couple of years ago, I decided to write a book to help non-marketers in the nonprofit sector develop a more effective way to communicate. This year, my book “Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications” was released, and folks seem to be finding it helpful.
Of course there are many other terrific reads out there to help non-marketers in the nonprofit sector boost their own capacity. (Oops! Did I just say ‘capacity’? That’s on Lake Superior State University’s annual ‘List of Banished Words’. I take it back.)
If you’re looking to kick off your flip flops, lather up with sunblock, and boost your nonprofit communications IQ this summer, here are a few must-reads:
Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes by Katya Andresen has been out a few years and is a classic. I hope it’s on your bookshelf.
Katya Andresen also wrote the forward to the newly released, “The Nonprofit Marketing Guide” by Kivi Leroux Miller, which is a great getting-started reference- particularly useful in grassroots organizations.
And if you’re ready for more, check out The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine.
I’m reading a few other books this summer, including those Stieg Larson books everyone seems to be talking about lately. Check out what’s on my summer reading list here, and let me know what you’re reading. (Sarah Durham tweets @BigDuckSarah).