Customer Review

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for those in the non-profit field, November 13, 2011
This review is from: The Social Entrepreneur's Handbook: How to Start, Build, and Run a Business That Improves the World (Hardcover)
"The Social Entrepreneur's Handbook: How to Start, Build, and Run a Business That Improves the Word" by Rupert Scofield, President and CEO of The Foundation For International Community Assistance, provides a lot of useful information and guidance for anyone involved with non-profits. I wish I'd read it when I was more involved with non-profit organizations. While I don't believe the book's claim that this is "the one and only resource you will need to attain your dream of working full-time in service of others - and making a real, measurable difference in the world," I do believe that it is a very good book for anyone working with non-profits.

The author likens the book as a survival guide for anyone who joins the ranks of a modern nonprofit, and I'd agree that it does provide much to help. However, I didn't like "Handbook" in the title, because to me a "handbook" has more lists, worksheets, procedures, etc. This book does not really contain those. It doesn't have the step-by-step formulas that I think of when I think of "handbooks." I sort of like one of the author's original working titles for the book better, "Confessions of a Social Entrepreneur."

The book contains eighteen chapters, divided into five parts, and is full of personal examples and encouragement for those working in the non-profit arena. It starts out with advice on identifying your constituency, your big idea, and finding a mentor. The second part delves into recruiting the best people for an organization. Good information on personnel issues. The next part of the book focuses on money, always an issue with nonprofits. The advice here can help organizations with fund raising.

Part four goes into building and running an organization with topics such as business models, structure, and systems. All of these are very important for the growth and longevity of an organization. Strategy is also discussed in one of the chapters. The final section, part five, looks at areas that are often neglected, such as innovation, governance, and some daily challenges when working for a non-profit.

While this isn't the only book that should be on a non-profit's CEO, Executive Director, Board Member, or employee's bookshelf, it is surely one that is a good read and provides strategies and suggestions that will enable the social entrepreneur to better succeed at his or her chosen mission. Recommended for anyone in the field, or who wants to enter the field.

Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author of the Tough Guy Wisdom series
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Location: Missoula, MT

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