The Nimble Nonprofit & other writing

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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. The Nimble Nonprofit is for YOU: a nonprofit leader looking to change the pace of change, perform better, and have some fun. 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.

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

In the book Trey and I 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.

We aren’t going to hard sell you, but here are three more reasons to get a copy of The Nimble Nonprofit:

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 so maybe you can expense it).
The Nimble Nonprofit is helpful AND fun to read. Don’t take our word for it. We've included a bunch of the blurbs below.
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 Nimble Nonprofit Manifesto (especially the part about keeping your eye on the ball).

Read more about the book here.

What people are saying

“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, coauthor, The Networked Nonprofit

“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, Membership Director for the Nonprofit Technology Network and coauthor of Social by Social: A Practical Guide to Using New Technologies to Deliver Social Impact

“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 coauthor of How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar

The Nimble Nonprofit is a gem. It is packed with insight, and manages to skip the usual blandishments of management books. Read this if you are serious about winning. As a pure bonus, you will think more clearly and grin more often.”

—Hal Harvey, Founder of the ClimateWorks Foundation and coauthor of Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy

“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 Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust.

The Nimble Nonprofit has great advice for anyone building an impactful organization, whether it’s a nonprofit, a technology startup, or anything else. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to build a strong organization and make a difference.”

—Brad Feld, Managing Director at the Foundry Group and coauthor of Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup

“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

“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