Seeking Your Opinion!

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If you’ve been following our blog posts, you’ll know we’re writing a book.

Today, we’re seeking your opinion on a few possible titles.

Writing a book is thrilling. And agonizing. Some days we do cartwheels. Others we wonder, “Whose bright idea was this, anyhow?” It’s a significant investment of energy and time, thinking and resources. Proverbial blood, sweat – and yes, a few tears.

So why do it?

Because it’s time to challenge the myth that the only way to get things done in a not-for-profit is to find money to hire more people. It becomes more apparent every day there will never be enough money to create all the solutions our communities require. And yet, there are enough people. There is incredible talent in our communities.

The trouble is, we are so passionate about the causes we champion - so focused on delivering our missions - that all too often we miss out on the talented people who are literally knocking on our front doors, eager to meaningfully contribute.

It’s time to change that.

Our book is a call to action. An invitation to not-for-profit leaders across North America – and beyond. A guide outlining how organizations can thrive by engaging the abundance of talent in our communities.

We have a whole team of people working with us on this project, and have just completed the third (or twenty-third!) draft. We’ll be sharing some tools and concepts with you on this blog in the months ahead; testing our content – and then revising. We know the more we tap your collective wisdom during this process, the better the final version will be.

So – in your mind’s eye, imagine four books on your bookshelf. Which of these titles would most appeal to you? Which one would you pick up and read?

A People Lens
Ignite your mission by transforming how you engage people

Knowledge Philanthropy
A path to abundance for not-for-profit organizations

The Abundant Not-for-Profit
How talent can transform your world

Abundant Talent
How to People-Power Your Organization

Which of these resonate for you? Which don’t? Which words do you love – or hate? How would you tweak your favourite to make it better?

Please share your thoughts below, and vote for your favourite via an online survey.

We hope you'll stay tuned and keep weighing in! We’ll reveal the selected title in an upcoming post. And then ask your opinion on some draft cover designs...

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Ralf's picture
Ralf (not verified) on

i like the first 2, especially the first one, 'a people lens'.  don't like the last two; i'm not even indifferent about them.  the word 'abundant' is off-putting. some other ideas:

The not-for-profit crowd

The not-for-profit talent pool

The philanthropy pool

Modern philanthropy  or   Modern philanthropic

The new philanthropy

MODERN PHILANTHROPIA  .....prob my favorite

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified) on

I like the first three


"Using Knowlege to Create Abundance for Non Profits"

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified) on
I like the first one best. For me, the word abundant has slick and somewhat creepy connotations of personal-and-financial-success-cult. On the other hand, that kind of branding is popular for a reason and might sell books. But not to me. "Transforming how you engage people" works for me.
Nisa's picture
Nisa (not verified) on

I prefer:

Knowledge Philanthropy---workable but feels a little academic
A path to abundance for not-for-profit organizations

The Abundant Not-for-Profit -- I like the abundant part, as that is not usually what people or non-profits are seen as
How talent can transform your world--I like this piece

Modern Philanthropia is an interesting name, too, as suggested above.

The Profitable Not for Profit (Talent creatively generating community outcomes and revenue)- needs wordsmithing

Virginia Brown's picture
Virginia Brown (not verified) on

I like the abundance place. Feels appreciative. My favorite is: The abundant Not-for-Profit - How talent can transform your world.


Lynda's picture
Lynda on

And that's why we sent this to you, Virginia. Great to hear your thoughts. Aren't all the different opinions and perspectives fascinating?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified) on

Knowledge Philanthropy

How to People-Power Your Organization

I like the academic feel of the title and people. For some reasons, I don't like the term abundance/abundant.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified) on

I like the Abundant Not for Profit because it most obviously describes the content of the book. I don't like the People Lens. It doesn't tell me anything. Knowledge Philanthropy is also confusing and sounds like a clever marketing phrase but it doesn't grab me in the way a clever marketing name should.

I would change the subheading to almost any of the other three. You aren't trying to show how talent can transform our world, rather how to find volunteer talent to transform the organisation.

DK's picture
DK (not verified) on

I think using the word "modern" with the word "philanthropy" is a great idea. This way you grab the up-and-coming younger generation, as well as engage the people who already know a thing or two about philanthropy. It says "Hey read this book! You will learn how even you, yourself can give...and give back"

Alex's picture
Alex (not verified) on

I like number 4 the best.  I actually love the word abundance, which evokes thoughts of harvest and nature for me.  I also get a sense of realizing or recognizing a resource that has been there all along, which is quite relevant.  Also, I find it speaks most clearly to the content without expecting the reader to make a cognitive leap that they may not always have the context for.  Nicely done on all fronts.

Lynda's picture
Lynda on

What a fantastic diversity of opinion.

So interesting to see how controversial the word abundance is. I had not expected that... which is exactly why we are asking what you think.

I really appreciate all of your thoughts and suggestions. Do keep it coming! =)

Tim Readman's picture
Tim Readman (not verified) on

None of these would make me want to pick up this book and read it.

I'd call it 

People First:

With this subtitle

How to build a sustainable non-profit organisation

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified) on

I like The Abundant Not-for-Profit because, as someone else said, you don't expect the word 'abundant' alongside 'not-for-profit', and it is positive.

I don't like any subheading that leads with "How", because it makes me tired just thinking that there are STILL MORE ways I should be living, managing, improving etc. - even if the advice in the book is needed and relevant.  And there are too many books making promises, so I think I would too quickly put this book in that 'false-promise' / overstated category of books.

Lynda's picture
Lynda on

Really appreciate that perspective. We've been encouraged to be practical and concrete (ie "how"), so it's great to hear the counter-argument.

James's picture
James (not verified) on

I like #1 best, then 2, then 3, then 4.  
Good thing there's no 5 or I would really not like it.

Christina's picture
Christina (not verified) on

I'm having a hard time coming up with a suggestion because I don't feel I know enough about your material. However, I agree with Tim, I don't think any of these candidate titles would make me want to pick up this book.

I'd suggest something with symbolism and imagery, something like:

A Talent Wellspring

Drawing on People-Power for Organizational Transformation

I would not inlcude not-for-profit in the title or subtitle, that may pigeon hole the book. While nfp's may be your intended audience, there may be many other organizations and groups who could benefit from the message you'll be putting out. They may pass over a book title that includes nfp if they don't identify with that characterization.

Lynda's picture
Lynda on

Wow - there are some wonderful comments here, and we have also received more than 80 votes and many additional feedback via the survey. Thanks to each of you for your passion and insight. Lots to consider as we make a decision!

Tracy 's picture
Tracy (not verified) on

A huge diversity of opinion - how great!

Put me solidly in the camp of "i love abundant". If you don't use this word, please choose another big word - dare these organizations to be great!

As you might suspect, i like #3 but I would wordsmith the tagline somewhat.

The Abundant Not for Profit

Transform your organization with the untapped talent in your community

or using Lynda's words

Transform your organization with the talent knocking at your door.

I also like #2 but don't like that you might have to explain "Knowledge Philanthropy" to some.

i think you have to have nfp in the title. The premise of the book as I understand it is to use free talent - it's not an option in the corporate world. It is the competitive advantage of the nfp world exclusively so let's go directly after our target market.

You are so lucky to have many thoughtful voices - I will look forward to the outcome.

Lynda's picture
Lynda on

I really appreciate your thoughts, Tracy - especially the encouragement to be bold, and to speak directly to our target audience. This is such fun... I'm thrilled to have you as part of the team! =)

Diana's picture
Diana (not verified) on

At first I went with #3 as well... "The Abundant Not for Profit".

Isn't the first one a book title of yours from a while back... I remember reading "A People Lens"?

I also like some of the suggestions on the blog including:
People First: How to build a sustainable non-profit organization

The idea of using imagery is interesting... wellspring... I kind of like what that draws out... I wonder about using the talent knocking at the door phrase as well - although I am not sure if the talent always comes knocking or if you go knocking to get it...

I've loved the "Life is Abundant" phrase from the perspective of reminding myself that there is more than enough of everything in the world to go around... I find living with that approach enriching.

Maybe the last one would be stronger by saying "Talent is Abundant"; then maybe I would like that best. It seems "how to people power your organization" is in line with the content for sure.

Good luck sifting through all the pros and cons of the wording! Phew!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified) on

People Lens--non-descriptive, feels insider-y

Knowledge Philanthropy--jargon...has this term been coined yet? is that the intention of using it in a title?

I like this suggestion: People First: How to build a sustainable non-profit organization

Hannah R's picture
Hannah R (not verified) on

My favourites are 1 and 3. I love the phrase 'transform your world' and I love 'The People Lens'.

They're all brilliant in my eyes though!

Good luck team.

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