Summer, Summer, Summertime…

“… time to sit back and unwind” is what DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince said in 1991. For nonprofit leaders and fundraisers, it’s a real challenge to find time for rest and relaxation. We all know by now how important it is, but it’s still tough to make it happen.

First, I hope you find time at some point this summer to recharge. It’s important for you, your organization, and those you work with, including donors, that you take good care of yourself.

For me, summer is prime reading and planning season. We’re halfway through the year, and it’s a great time to evaluate your progress and make adjustments to your strategies. Plus, summer reading has always given me new ideas that can improve our plans for the rest of the year and beyond.

Here’s a list to kick off summer reading season:

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1. Before You Say Anything: The Untold Stories and Failproof Strategies of a Very Discreet Speechwriter by Victoria Wellman

  • This is what I’m currently reading. Not yet a recommendation, but hopefully has some good ideas for my next speaking engagement.

2. Insanely Simple: The Obsession that Drives Apple’s Success by Ken Segall

  • A believer in the power of simplicity, I loved reading these stories and real examples of the difficulty and strength in making messages, processes, and products simple.

3. The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Bob Iger

  • Insightful and fun to learn about the business and strategy behind some incredibly familiar brands from one of the most accomplished CEO’s ever. The story of Disney’s acquisition of Pixar and the conversations between Bob Iger and Steve Jobs is captivating.

4. Planned Giving Basics: The Why and the How by Carol Weisman

  • This is a great book to learn about planned giving. While a lot has changed in the five years since this book was written, it’s still a must read if you’re new to fundraising or planned giving and a great reminder for those of us who have experience in the field.

5. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

  • Nonprofits have a tendency to get stuck focusing barriers that keep them from accomplishing more. This book provides a new way to look at your perceived disadvantages and how they might actually be able to help you.


As always, THANK YOU for reading. Have a great day!

All the best,

Kenny Sigler, CFRE