The unchartered business territories ahead are moving us all from the comforts of the traditional community service organisation’s business model. But there are resources available to help us develop a navigation route for sustainability through change.

What does your organisation’s strategic plan for 2018 include?

What is your vision for the next 5 years?

Below we list 7 business books you need for 2018 to help you ensure your organisation can remain sustainable, and thrive, in order to keep delivering on your mission.

1. Leadership for Not for Profits and Social Enterprises

Edited by Ken Wiltshire, Aastha Malhotra, Micheal Axelsen


Inspiring words from our very own CEO Belinda Drew feature in this tome, which is poised to become a key reference for the Community Services Industry.

Beginning with the leadership journey, this book goes on to look at the things that shape a successful journey in the modern not-for-profit world.

The editors have ensured an interesting mix of both theoretical and practical approaches to transformational leadership in the contemporary landscape.

Newly published and released late in 2017, this book is already gaining substantial popularity.

Transformational leadership for not for profits and social enterprises


2. The Networked Nonprofit

By Beth Kanter, Allison Fine, and Randi Zuckerberg

Been wracking your brain trying to make head or tails of how your organisation can use social media effectively?

With Facebook royalty (yes, Randi Zuckerberg is Mark’s sister, and is the former Director of Market Development for Facebook) behind the contents of this publication, you can’t help but feel confident in its guidance.

Here’s exactly what these very clever authors unpack for you:

  • understanding social networks
  • creating a social culture
  • listening, engaging and building relationships
  • building trust through transparency
  • making non-profit organisations simpler
  • working with crowds
  • learning loops
  • from friending to funding
  • governing through networks

The book is a number of years old now but the concepts remain valid even though exact technical execution may have evolved.

You may be interested to know there is also a partner for this book: Measuring the Networked Nonprofit

The Networked Nonprofit

3. Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up For Itself and Really Change the World

By Dan Pallotta


While created in an American setting, this book is about visionary solution for the many challenges faced by charities around the world. There are many ripe thoughts here for our own consideration.

In the author’s own words, this is a book about: “designing a system that can solve social problems”.

Dan Pallota’s first book – Uncharitable – is the one that discusses the problem, in detail in case you want to take a look at that in conjunction with this volume.

In the very least, this book is one for discussion.

How the nonprofit community can stand up for itself and really change the world

4. Building a story brand

By Donald Miller

Storytelling is the most powerful way to communicate. Humans have been communicating complex issues using story since the dawn of time.

So why don’t more organisations do use the power of storytelling in their bid to become more influential, or even to become more sustainable?

Donald Miller is a New York Times bestselling author with a method for improving our connection with clients.

Organisations across the Community Services Industry with the will to improve the way they tell the story of their own brand, products and services will benefit heavily from Miller’s precise roadmap.

When it comes to talking about their businesses, many people are so close to their products or services they don’t know where to start.

This book is designed to help create clarity around your offering and how you communicate about it so that your client base remains consistent and continues to grow.

Building a story brand

5. Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer)

By Alexander Osterwalder  (Author),‎ Yves Pigneur  (Author),‎ Gregory Bernarda  (Author),‎ & 1more

You may be familiar with the first book from these same great minds; Business Model Generation.

This next instalment tackles the creation of compelling products and services that your clients actually want.

The format of this book is familiar and friendly thanks to the publisher’s consistency and our initial rendezvous with Business Model Generation.

This book is a must-have in every organisation’s library.

Value proposition design

6. Monetizing Innovation: How Smart Companies Design the Product Around the Price

By Madhavan Ramanujam, Georg Tacke

Now that government funding is drying up, the question on everyone’s lips is this:

How do we turn our current business models into ones that earn revenues that allow us to further our missions?

While profit might feel like a dirty word, in the new world order  we’re all going to need to diversify our revenue sources in order to survive and thrive.

This book will put you on the right track to developing smart pricing strategies and product development with nine rules for monetising innovations.

Case studies showcase how some of the world′s most innovative companies like Uber, Porsche, LinkedIn, Dräger, Optimizely, and Swarovski have used principles outlined in this book.


Monetising innovation

7. How to thrive under the NDIS

By Fran Connelley

Given the shake-up we’re getting via the NDIS rollout, this book – and Fran Connelley’s 7 steps to sustainability – is a very useful resource for every organisation trying to establish a new funding model and stay true to their mission.

Although CEO’s of disability organisations are at the heart of this book’s intent, there is much to be learned by organisations right across the Industry.

This book contains interviews with Industry thought–leaders from across Australia and the UK.

You’ll learn how to:

  • diversify your revenue
  • determine your ideal niche and strategic direction
  • build your brand and spread the word
  • identify the right alliances and partners
  • create a customer-focused culture
  • prepare your Action Plan.

How to thrive under the NDIS