5 Books Every Nonprofit Marketing Executive Should Read

Dec 02, 2022
5 Books Every Nonprofit Marketing Executive Should Read | Big Click Syndicate

If you are involved with the marketing communications of a nonprofit organization, you are constantly tasked with finding new and innovative ways to market your cause. To be successful, you need to be up-to-date on the latest marketing trends and strategies.


At first glance, you might not think there are many lessons to be learned from the corporate world. After all, nonprofits and for-profit companies are quite different. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't best practices in the corporate world that could be helpful for nonprofit leaders. 


I'm sure that as a nonprofit leader, you want your teams to use their time in the most productive way possible and that your donors' money is going towards furthering your mission.


One way to achieve this is by looking at what some of the most innovative companies are doing and seeing if any best practices can be adapted for use by nonprofits.


Below are three examples of corporate best practices that your nonprofit can learn from:


  1. Toyota's use of lean manufacturing principles
  2. Google's philosophy of "fail fast, fail often" 
  3. Xerox's approach to innovation through internal venturing 


3 Examples of Business Best Practices That Nonprofit Leaders Can Learn From


Example #1. Toyota's Use of Lean Manufacturing Principles 

In order to stay ahead of the competition, Toyota has continuously strived to find ways to improve its manufacturing process. One way they have done this is by adopting lean manufacturing principles. Lean manufacturing is a system that eliminates waste in order to increase efficiency and quality. While this may sound like it would be difficult to apply to a nonprofit, there are actually a number of ways that lean manufacturing principles can be helpful for nonprofits, such as: 

  • Eliminating or automating tasks that do not directly contribute to the organization's mission  
  • Streamlining communication between departments 
  • Improving data collection and analysis processes 


2. Google's Philosophy of "Fail Fast, Fail Often" 

Google is famous for its philosophy of "fail fast, fail often." This means that they encourage their employees to take risks and experiment with new ideas. While it may seem counterintuitive, this philosophy has actually helped Google become one of the most successful companies in the world. And there are a number of reasons why this philosophy could also be beneficial for nonprofits, such as: 

  • It allows for creativity and outside-the-box thinking 
  • It encourages team members to take risks and try new things 
  • It helps prevent stagnation by keeping employees engaged and excited about their work 


3. Xerox's Approach to Innovation Through Internal Venturing 

Xerox is another company that has been able to stay ahead of the curve by continuously innovating. One way they have done this is through internal venturing, which is when a company allocates resources (e.g., money, people, time) towards exploring new ideas and products. This could be beneficial for nonprofits because: 

  • It allows nonprofits to test out new ideas without taking on too much risk  
  • It provides an opportunity for employees to work on something different and potentially broaden their skillsets 
  • It helps build a culture of innovation within the organization 


As you can see, there are a number of reasons why it can be beneficial for nonprofit leaders to learn from innovative corporate best practices, such as improving efficiency, encouraging creativity, and preventing stagnation. By taking the time to study what some of the most successful companies and leaders are doing, you can adapt their best practices for use by your nonprofit and help your organization reach new levels of success!

The following five books that can really help influence your nonprofit operations, workflows, strategic thinking, and marketing for the better.


  1. "The Innovator's Dilemma" by Clayton M. Christensen
  2. "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries
  3. "Disruptive Marketing" by Geoffrey A. Moore
  4. "Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind" by Al Ries and Jack Trout
  5. "Permission Marketing" by Seth Godin


5 Books Every Nonprofit Marketing Manager Should Read


1. "The Innovator's Dilemma" by Clayton M. Christensen

In his book, Christensen introduces the concept of "disruptive innovation." He argues that successful organizations must be able to identify and adapt to disruptive changes in their industry in order to stay ahead of the competition. This book is a must-read for anyone in the nonprofit sector who wants to stay ahead of the curve.


2. "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries

Ries' book challenges traditional business models and offers a new approach for launching and managing businesses in today's rapidly changing marketplace. If you're looking for a fresh perspective on how to run your nonprofit, then this book is for you.


3. "Disruptive Marketing" by Geoffrey A. Moore

In his book, Moore proposes a new way of thinking about marketing called "disruptive marketing." Disruptive marketing is all about creating radical changes in the way businesses market their products and services. If you want to shake up your marketing strategy, then this book is a must-read.


4. "Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind" by Al Ries and Jack Trout

In their classic book on marketing, Ries and Trout argue that the key to success is not what you sell, but how you sell it. They show how businesses can use positioning strategies to create an edge over their competitors. If you're looking for a competitive advantage, then this book is a must-read.


5. "Permission Marketing" by Seth Godin

In his groundbreaking book, Godin introduces the concept of "permission marketing." Permission marketing is all about getting permission from customers before sending them marketing messages. If you're looking for a more effective way to market your nonprofit, then this book is a must-read.


Great Leaders Are Learning Leaders

As the marketing manager of a nonprofit organization, it is essential to stay up-to-date on the best practices and strategies. The five books listed above can help your organization's strategies as well as influence what you do with your nonprofit marketing. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy of each today and start learning.


What "business" book have you read recently that nonprofit leaders should pick up next?

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