July 3, 2018

What I’m Reading This Summer

Andy Davey

As Madison Community Foundation’s Community Resource Analyst, I’m responsible for understanding, as best I can, what’s happening in the nonprofit sector here in Dane County. Part of that means keeping up with what fellow researchers and practitioners are writing about the field more broadly.

Here’s a selection of some of the things I’m reading this summer:

Fundraising Bright Spots: Strategies And Inspiration From Social Change Organizations Raising Money From Individual Donors by Jeanne Bell and Kim Klein, 2016.

This report tells the story of diverse nonprofit organizations–several with small staffs-that have developed creative and successful fundraising practices. This piece is part of a series: the first report, Underdeveloped, described a troubling cycle of chronic turnover and limited capacity in many organizations and the second, Beyond Fundraising, laid out a strategy for breaking this cycle through building a culture of philanthropy.

The Politics of Value: Three Movements to Change How We Think about the Economy by Jane Collins, 2017

What creates economic value? What organizational models contribute to “a just, sustainable, and well-functioning economy?” These questions are at the heart of this new book by Collins, a sociologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. To answer them, she conducts in-depth investigations into particular movements. I’m especially interested in her exploration of Benefit (or B) Corporations, which are new business and legal structures for companies to recognize and foster their commitments beyond mere profit, such as to workers, local communities, and the environment.

Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up by Paul Schmitz, 2012.

Last fall I heard Schmitz give an inspiring and thought-provoking talk at a conference in Milwaukee about transforming the way we conceptualize and enact leadership. For Schmitz, leadership “is an action everyone can take, not a position few hold” and “about taking personal and social responsibility to work with others on common goals.”

Duckling and Friends by Roger Priddy, 2017

Andy Davey and his wife, Laura, will be doing a new kind of reading this summer with baby Owen.

“Hello ducklings! So small and sweet, they have fluffy feathers and paddling feet.” No, I haven’t suddenly gone insane. My wife, Laura, and I are welcoming our first child into the world this summer and this is one of the many books we’ll be reading to the little one. We already have a great collection of books, thanks to my kind and generous colleagues at MCF who gifted them to us. “Hello lambs! Here you are! Wooly lambs say, “Baa, baa.”….

Stay in touch with your questions, comments and observations at mcfblog@madisongives.org.