Denise McMahan

Denise McMahan is founder and publisher of CausePlanet, a thriving one-of-a-kind professional development website for busy nonprofit leaders who want to stay informed about essential reading through Page to Practice™ book summaries, author interviews and relevant discussion by peer contributors. Denise dedicated much of her early career to fundraising in academia and experiential education where she was twice recognized for innovation and model account, raising millions of dollars and surpassing client goals. McMahan equally enjoyed working on client side, coaching major gift volunteers and mobilizing unrestricted giving to reach unprecedented participation. In addition to overseeing CausePlanet, McMahan is a writer for nonprofit and corporate clients. Read her blog at or email her at

Content marketing for nonprofits: Don’t forget to rinse and repeat

The number of tools and the amount of noise around us grow by the day. With choice comes complexity, and our environment changes constantly, due to technological, generational and marketing shifts. Redefine your audience for today’s current climate with the help of author Kivi Leroux Miller. Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging... Read more

Set your team up for success in 9 minutes

Want to change up your Monday and empower your team? It takes nine minutes. Empower your employees without adding hours to your plate. The nine principles found in this book summary will ignite the engagement, motivation, morale and trust among you team members and will result in greater efficiency and higher levels of productivity. When... Read more

Nonprofit fundraising: True generosity is rooted in relatedness

One of our most recent additions to the CausePlanet summary library is The Generosity Network by Jennifer McCrea, Jeffrey C. Walker and Karl Weber. We liked their approach to fundraising because it’s not another book about how to be a more persuasive salesperson, how to leverage tactics and strategies, or how to find and leverage... Read more

Announcing CausePlanet’s Choice Award winners: Our top books for nonprofit leaders

It’s my favorite time of year for many reasons. One of which is that my team at CausePlanet enjoys reflecting on the books we reviewed in 2016 for nonprofit leaders. Here are some of our favorites among them. It goes without saying that this is an incredibly tough process because we don’t review a book to... Read more

Avoid the 2-year website relaunch cycle: Look at ROI and mission

If you’re looking to improve your website, you’re not alone. According to Captivate and Engage coauthors, Jay Wilkinson and Randy Hawthorne, nonprofits relaunch their websites about every two years. This is due to several factors. Are “go-to geeks” the answer? Primarily, nonprofits hire website designers whom the authors affectionately call “go-to-geeks.” These professionals are tech-savvy... Read more

Who says you can’t get smart on National Taco Day?

It’s National Taco Day today and you’re probably wondering what tacos have to do with great books for nonprofit leaders. Well, it turns out a lot. Before I share our CausePlanet spin on tacos, I’ll give you a little context. At, history professor Jeffrey Pilcher suggests that the taco originated around the 18th century in... Read more

We asked “The Ethics Guy” about his favorite interview question

Bruce Weinstein presents ten qualities that clarify what it means to be a high-character employee in his latest book, The Good Ones: Ten Crucial Qualities of High-Character Employees. Stories from employers and employees illustrate how these traits are critical to the long-term success of your nonprofit and to the employees who exhibit them. This book contains advice... Read more

Are you hiring for the most important quality?

Questionable character is costly. Employees who lack character cost businesses and nonprofits billions of dollars each year. Unfortunately, employers focus too much on what candidates need to know or do and rarely think about what makes an employee great: character. The Good Ones: Ten Crucial Qualities of High-Character Employees presents ten qualities that clarify what... Read more

Making changes at the board level: Are you ready for reactions?

Where do most nonprofit boards struggle with engaging in the process of actual change? Beth Gazley and Katha Kissman would say that often it is simply starting the conversation and committing to achieving intentional change. Gazley and Kissman, coauthors of Transformational Governance: How Boards Achieve Extraordinary Change, acknowledge that change agents also struggle with varying... Read more

Why you need a mobile media budget at your nonprofit

Any doubts you may have that social networks aren’t powerful or don’t need to be a priority in your communication and fundraising efforts can now be put to rest, according to Mobile for Good author Heather Mansfield. A comprehensive and thoroughly researched resource for nonprofits, Mobile for Good helps you master mobile content distribution on... Read more

Welcome! Please provide your log-in information below.
Forget your password?
Enter your email or user name and your log-in information will be sent to the email on file.