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

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

5 behaviors that help nonprofits build an innovative mindset

It’s hard to believe that standing on a stage with fellow comedians is akin to brainstorming around a table with your colleagues at work but coauthors John Sweeney and Elena Imaretska argue these two scenarios are using the exact same mindset when at their best. In The Innovative Mindset, Sweeney and Imaretska utilize what at first glance seems like... Read more

Nonprofits can apply improv to be at their creative best

“Honing a mindset of discovery and practicing innovation behaviors on a daily basis is the best way we can ensure that future generations will inherit a healthy planet and sustainable society that supports prosperity and happiness for all its members,” assert Innovative Mindset coauthors John Sweeney and Elena Imaretska. Serious results created by comedic roots... Read more

Nonprofits and donors: Doing more good means making some changes

How to Be Great at Doing Good author Nick Cooney argues that none of us has been taught what it means to truly succeed at doing good in the world. What’s more, we have never been prompted to give charity the seriousness and rigor it deserves. “Although it may feel counterintuitive or even cold-hearted to... Read more

Nonprofits: Explore the heart of Latino leadership

If you’re like me, you’re involved with one, two or more boards that would love to share the table with a thriving minority in the U.S. In fact, minority won’t be an accurate description by the year 2060. Join me in getting acquainted with the first book that squarely focuses on describing the principles and practices of how... Read more

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