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November 2007
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Free books from Ford Family Foundation

The Ford Family Foundation, with which many people in the Oregon nonprofit scene are familiar, has a great resource for Oregon and Siskiyou County, California residents who “want to make a difference in their communities”: a list of some thirty books on leadership, effective organizations, community collaborations, and youth, family, and schools. These are available free of charge, and in return, you are requested to write a brief evaluation of the book.

My connection with the Ford Foundation goes back to 2003, when I was selected as a Ford Scholar and given truly generous assistance through the end of my undergraduate years. These days, one of my staff members is participating in one of their five-year community leadership programs. The free books program is just another of the many ways that they are working to empower communities in Oregon. So, check it out.

Select Books page

The request form includes a place to suggest additions to their list. I had two. One was Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, which I am having my staff read; they are kindly indulging my professorial tendencies, but (say) they really find it thought-provoking and useful. The other is Getting Funded: The Complete Guide to Writing Grant Proposals, by Mary Hall.

So, a question. If you could suggest one or two great additions to their free book list, what would they be? Why?


Comment from Jeanne
Time: November 3, 2007, 8:57 am

Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American Education by Peter Sacks

I know the list is all about non-profit management but in the work your non-profit does, don’t you think it’s important to have facts, figures, and narrative about how our educational system fails the poor and working classes? And how it gives advantages to those who have financial privilege?

It’s an amazing book.