The Nimble Nonprofit

Are you a nonprofit leader looking to change the pace of change, perform better, and have some fun? If so, The Nimble Nonprofit is for you. The opening words sum up the challenges you face:

As someone who plays a leadership role in your nonprofit organization, your job is simple: empower the people who work for you or with you to kick ass.

Sometimes you want to sit down with someone who can tell you how the nonprofit sector really works, and what’s required to lead a successful organization. Reading The Nimble Nonprofit is like sitting across the table from an experienced nonprofit director sharing candid stories, pragmatic advice, and helpful insights.

—Amy Sample Ward, CEO of NTEN: Nonprofit Technology Network and coauthor of “Social Change Anytime Everywhere: How to Implement Online Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money, and Engage your Community”

The Nimble Nonprofit: An Unconventional Guide

What are people saying about The Nimble Nonprofit?

Sometimes, books written about the nonprofit space are dry, or read like trumpets should be welcoming you into sainthood. Rest assured, The Nimble Nonprofit reads like you’re having drinks with your long time friends, AND learning something. Smith and Beck have a lot to offer in this book.

–Chris Brogan, New York Times best-selling author of “Google+ for Business” and president of Human Business Works

A must-read for leaders who want to cut through the static of traditional nonprofit management books. The book should be required reading for every nonprofit manager.

Trista Harris, Executive Director of the Headwaters Foundation and co-author of “How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar”

When was the last time you had fun reading about nonprofit management? The Nimble Nonprofit will bring joy!

Get your copy today at

Making it up as you go along used to be frowned on in the nonprofit sector, but that’s part of the reality of leading a nonprofit organization in these difficult times. The Nimble Nonprofit is an important book because it effectively makes the case that allocating time to serendipity, experimentation, and improvisation is one key to success in today’s fast-paced, changing world.

—Beth Kanter, co-author, “Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout”

We aren’t going to hard sell you. Well, maybe just a bit. Here are three more reasons to get a copy of The Nimble Nonprofit:

  1. The Nimble Nonprofit costs $4.99. A bit more than your latte but probably far less than that take out lunch (and it’s work-related to maybe you can expense it).
  2. The Nimble Nonprofit is helpful AND fun to read. Don’t take our word for it. Did you read what people had to say about the book?
  3. The Nimble Nonprofit is cat and dog approved. Well, really, we can’t prove that. But we think that cats and dogs (the smart ones, anyway) would agree with The Nimble Nonprofit Manifesto (especially the part about keeping your eye on the ball).
In the book we talk about five trends today that separate high-performing organizations (and leaders) from the rest. This is the Nimble Nonprofit Manifesto:
  1. Question convention. Be skeptical about received wisdom. Ask hard questions about everything you’ve been taught about running a nonprofit, and test your own assumptions, too.
  2. Be agile. Experiment, take risks, fail fast, and fail smart. Foster a culture of openness and pivot to embrace opportunity. Learn from the best.
  3. Build a great team. Hire slowly, fire quickly, and create a sustainable and supportive organizational culture.
  4. Keep your eye on the ball. Maintain a sharp focus on the work that most needs doing. saying “no” is one of the most underappreciated skills of a successful executive.
  5. Build strong relationships and networks. Create and sustain networks of supporters and partners, by, in part, treating people well and telling great stories.

Eureka! The Nimble Nonprofit is a powerful guide to making the right decisions for your nonprofit—the ones that will sustain (and even grow) your organization at a time when the margin for error is slimmer than ever. Read it, act on it, and share it.

Nancy E. Schwartz, Publisher of and President, Nancy Schwartz & Company

Here are some more thoughts about the book from nonprofit leaders and practitioners:

Of the thousands of books on nonprofits available at Amazon, only a few stand out. The Nimble Nonprofit is a conversational, fast read, but it’s also jam-packed with no-nonsense, real-world lessons for leaders across the sector. And it doesn’t shy away from skewering conventions. Buy it, read it, and share it with your board.

—Kathryn Goldman, Executive Director, Sawtooth Botanical Garden

Based on years of personal experience, the authors of The Nimble Nonprofit highlight and alert readers to tips and tricks useful in grappling with the challenges enveloping today’s nonprofits. The book questions assumptions and posits approaches that will help you guide your organization more effectively.

—John Powers, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado Board President and Board of Directors, Educational Foundation of America

If you want a conventional book on running nonprofits, go somewhere else. The Nimble Nonprofit is irreverent, incisive, and loaded with useful suggestions. This is the book that every aspiring nonprofit leader should read.

—Suzanne Jones, Executive Director of Eco-Cycle and Mayor of Boulder, Colorado

Smith and Beck condense over 30 years of real world leadership lessons into an afternoon read. Time is precious and they show you how to make the most of it. Just as important as what to do, they also tell you what NOT to do. Straightforward, hands-on advice relevant to leaders of nonprofits of all sizes.

—Kevin Schuyler, Board Member of The Haitian Project, former CIO of The Nature Conservancy, and Partner at the nonprofit-focused financial management firm Cornerstone Partners LLC

Stop thinking about it and get a copy of The Nimble Nonprofit.