Finance Reads

//Finance Reads

Who Stole The American Dream?

Pulitzer Prize winner Hedrick Smith’s new book is an extraordinary achievement, an eye-opening account of how, over the past four decades, the American Dream has been dismantled and we became two Americas.

This book is essential reading for all of us who want to understand America today, or why average Americans are struggling to keep afloat. Smith reveals how pivotal laws and policies were altered while the public wasn’t looking, how Congress often ignores public opinion, why moderate politicians got shoved to the sidelines, and how Wall Street often wins politically by hiring over 1,400 former government officials as lobbyists.

Buy the book here.

Leadership and Innovation

Using All Our Resources: The Packard Foundation’s Program-Related Investment History and Portfolio

For more than 45 years, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation has worked with partners around the world to improve the lives of children, families, and communities—and to restore and protect our planet. Contact the Packard Foundation for this guide (published Los Altos, CA: 2004).

The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management

By Robert D. Herman & Associates, The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management offers a comprehensive and in-depth description of the most effective leadership and management practices that can be applied throughout a nonprofit organization. This second edition of the best-selling handbook brings you:

  • Current knowledge and trends in effective practice of nonprofit organization leadership and management.
  • A thoroughly revised edition based on the most up-to-date research, theory, and experience.
  • Practical advice on: board development, strategic planning, lobbying marketing, government contracting, volunteer programs, fund-raising, financial accounting, compensation and benefits programs, and risk management.
  • An examination of emerging topics of interest such as strategic alliances and finding and keeping the right employees.
  • Contributions from luminaries such as John Bryson, Nancy Axelrod, and Peter Dobkin Hall, and the best of the new generation of leaders like Cynthia Massarsky.

Find it at

The Executive Director’s Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader

This book provides practical insight for newly appointed Executive Directors (ED) and seasoned EDs. The Executive Director’s Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader 2nd Edition (The Jossey-Bass Nonprofit Guidebook Series) answers your basic questions and advice for crafting your voice and creating a call to action.

Order the book here.

Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership

First published in 1984, Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal’s best-selling book has become a classic in the field. Its four-frame model examines organizations as factories, families, jungles, and theaters or temples:

  • The Structural Frame: how to organize and structure groups and teams to get results
  • The Human Resource Frame: how to tailor organizations to satisfy human needs, improve human resource management, and build positive interpersonal and group dynamics
  • The Political Frame: how to cope with power and conflict, build coalitions, hone political skills, and deal with internal and external politics
  • The Symbolic Frame: how to shape a culture that gives purpose and meaning to work, stage organizational drama for internal and external audiences, and build team spirit through ritual, ceremony, and story

This new edition is filled with new case examples such as Hurricane Katrina and profiles of great leaders such as Mother Theresa, Thomas Keller, and others. In addition, the book updates the “Organizational Theory’s Greatest Hits” text boxes throughout, and increases geographic, cultural and gender diversity in examples and text. It also features an enhanced online teacher’s guide with a new test bank, as well as updated PowerPoint slides, teaching ideas and experiential activities, and links to resources.

Find it at

Program-Related Investments: A Technical Manual for Foundations

This book by Christie Baxter, illustrates how to establish, manage and monitor program related investments (PRIs) which are grants/loans issued by foundations. The author discusses the guidelines for evaluating PRIs and the grantee’s they’re given to, monitoring these grantees and keeping track of the returned funds. The financial, legal and regulatory aspects of PRIs are also highlighted.  You can find it here.

Program-Related Investing: Skills and Strategies for New PRI Funders

Program-related investments are loans and equity investments that foundations provide at favorable rates to support activities that have a direct charitable purpose. Frequently referred to as PRIs, they expand the resources from foundations – and, in the right circumstances, can be even more effective than grants. Any foundation can make PRIs, yet most shy away from them. In this guide, experienced PRI makers walk through the process, offering practical advice at each step – from explaining the concept to your board to structuring and closing your first deal.

By Neil Carson, GrantCraft Series (New York, NY: The Ford Foundation, 2006). Find it at GrantCraft.

Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability

In Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability, authors Jeanne Bell, Jan Masaoka and Steve Zimmerman maintain that sustainability is an orientation, not a destination. “We never arrive at a mix of programs and revenue that can be described as permanently sustainable. But we can always be headed in the right direction.”

Interested?  Find this book here.

Learning to Lead: A Workbook on Becoming a Leader

Over his distinguished career Warren Bennis has shown that leaders are made, not born. In Learning to Lead, written in partnership with management development expert Joan Goldsmith, Warren Bennis provides a program that will help managers transform themselves into leaders.

Using wise insights from the world’s best leaders, helpful self-assessments, and dozens of one-day skill-building exercises, Bennis and Goldsmith show in Learning to Lead how to see beyond leadership myths and communicate vision to others. With updates throughout, Learning to Lead is both a workbook and a deeply considered treatise on the nature of leadership by two of its finest and most experienced practitioners—and teachers.

Find it at Amazon.

Leadership and the One Minute Manager

With a new foreword by Ken Blanchard, Adapting One Minute Manager techniques to enable successful leadership to happen. Using different ways to motivate different kinds of people. Leadership and The One Minute Manager goes straight to the heart of management as it describes the effective, adaptive styles of Situational Leadership. In clear and simple terms it teaches how to become a flexible and successful leader, fitting your style to the needs of the individual and to the situation at hand, and using the One Minute Manager techniques to enhance the motivation of others.

Purchase this book at

Inside the Foundation: Program-Related Investments To Improve Health and Health Care

This annual anthology of original articles about RWJF grants and programs captures and conveys the experiences, findings, and lessons learned from a wide selection of the programs that we fund–programs that tackle some of today’s most critical health care issues.

The series reflects the Foundation’s commitment to sharing knowledge resulting from its grantmaking with those who can use and benefit from it.

Find it here.

Forces for Good, The Six Practices of High Impact Nonprofits

Anyone who is interested in creating social change—or in the nonprofit sector more broadly—should read, Forces for Good, The Six Practices of High Impact Nonprofits.  While there’s something for anyone who cares about social impact, our findings have critical implications for:

  • Nonprofit managers and leaders: If you run an established nonprofit, you’re likely already implementing many of these practices; you can learn to apply all of them, and improve your approach. Local and regional nonprofits can become more successful by applying these practices at the local level; growing nonprofits can use them as a guide to scaling impact more broadly.
  • Donors and philanthropists: Donors who seek maximum impact from their charitable gifts can use these six practices as a screen to predict their grantees’ potential for significant impact, or to improve their own practices.
  • Business leaders: Business leaders who want to improve their social performance and “do well, while doing good” can learn how to work with the best nonprofits.
  • Students and academics: Students who are eager to learn more about the social sector will benefit from this book. Academics can use this as a jumping off point for further research on scaling social impact.
  • Elected officials and policy-makers: Government has the money, political power, and distribution might; nonprofits have the talent, knowledge, and energy needed to create social change—together they are more powerful

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

The book that shows how to get the job done and deliver results . . . whether you’re running an entire company or in your first management job. By Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan and Charles Burck.

Larry Bossidy is one of the world’s most acclaimed CEOs, a man with few peers who has a track record for delivering results. Ram Charan is a legendary advisor to senior executives and boards of directors, a man with unparalleled insight into why some companies are successful and others are not. Together they’ve pooled their knowledge and experience into the one book on how to close the gap between results promised and results delivered that people in business need today.

After a long, stellar career with General Electric, Larry Bossidy transformed AlliedSignal into one of the world’s most admired companies and was named CEO of the year in 1998 by Chief Executive magazine. Accomplishments such as 31 consecutive quarters of earnings-per-share growth of 13 percent or more didn’t just happen; they resulted from the consistent practice of the discipline of execution: understanding how to link together people, strategy, and operations, the three core processes of every business.

Leading these processes is the real job of running a business, not formulating a “vision” and leaving the work of carrying it out to others. Bossidy and Charan show the importance of being deeply and passionately engaged in an organization and why robust dialogues about people, strategy, and operations result in a business based on intellectual honesty and realism.

Find it at

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