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3 Little Books With Big Advice For Grassroots Organizations

Posted By Claire McWatt, Project Coordinator - Grassroots Growth, November-13-15
Updated: November-12-15
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes  


When just starting out, it can be extremely difficult to understand the basics of building the nonprofit of your dreams. Actually – this doesn’t just apply to new groups, but to all the small, volunteer-run community groups looking to expand. With resources stretched to the limit, and time as your largest hurdle, getting help with the logistics is a necessity.

Fortunately, Volunteer Toronto’s Grassroots Growth project is here to help! With a free suite of resources to support the little organizations that make a big impact, we are working to ensure this need is covered. The project is still in development, but until then, we have identified a few great resources that can take you from chaos to coordinated without breaking the bank.

American Nonprofit specialist Erik Hanberg has brought a refreshing spin to world of nonprofit management with his For Small Non-Profits series. The books can be purchased for less than $20 (or just $9.99 for the Kindle version), and provide a realistic, no-nonsense point of reference on essential topics such as Social Media and Fundraising.

His approach is simple – avoid using too much jargon, and recognize that not all nonprofits are built the same. Smaller groups face unique challenges, and thus the solutions should take that into account. Many grassroots groups are completely self-funded, and his guide, The Little Book of Gold: Fundraising for Small (and Very Small) Non-Profits is a great start for navigating the complicated but critical task of asking for money.


In The Little Book of Likes: Social Media for Small (and Very Small) Non-Profits, Hanberg uses this same relatable approach and applies it to designing a social media strategy. Often social media is a barrier for less established groups, and can be intimidating. The book, which is very small and straight to the point, is easy to read, and is useful for groups with a variety of experience levels.


The newest of the series, The Little Book of Boards: For Small (and Very Small) Non-Profits, is a perfect introduction to the confusing world of nonprofit governance, and can help smaller groups implement a structure that suits their unique needs. Policies and procedures are an important part of staying on track, and whether you need to implement new ones, update old ones or learn the basics before joining an established board, this book has you covered.


For more information, check out the author’s website, where you can find a useful blog, as well as occasional giveaways of his books for free!


Claire leads the development of the Grassroots Growth project’s online community of practice, including the Peer Mentorship Forum and Wiki Resource Directory. She also manages relationships with Grassroots Growth partners, handles project administration, and collaborates with the Education Coordinator and Outreach Coordinator in research, training and outreach.


Tags:  board of directors  fundraising  grassroots groups  Grassroots organizations  non-profits  social media  volunteerism  volunteer-run groups 

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