Every 6 months I like to write a blog about books that have helped me in my job. (You can read the last one I wrote at Christmas here). This time I wanted to find out which books have inspired you.

I’m going to kick off with a recommendation for the book I am currently reading (pictured above), Industries of The Future by Alec Ross, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. It’s about how tech is driving social change, and how it’s disrupting everything from commerce to health to big data. It’s particularly relevant for charities as Ross argues that everyone should consider innovation alongside encouraging diversity in the workplace and reforming education.

So which tech books did you recommend to charities, and why?

  • Clive Gardiner, Head of Digital at NSPCC, likes Building the Agile Business Through Digital Transformation by Neil Perkin and Peter Abraham because, ‘it’s good sensible well researched content…Neil always stresses the importance of cultural transformation whatever the size of organisation… remove the ‘D’ word and the issues are the same – people, process, culture, leadership.’
  • Mags Rivett, Director of Marketing at Purple Vision and trustee of The Sustainability Centre, likes Mobile for Good by Heather Mansfield. She says: ‘I like it because it goes back to the beginning of why we’re engaging on social and mobile and provides practical tips for where to get started and what to do.For many it may be too basic, but when you’re dealing with small charities with limited resources, or trying to persuade reluctant trustees of the need to invest, engage and participate in the digital age, it has proven to be invaluable.’
  • Jack Garfinkel, Web Production Manager at NCVO, likes Communicating the UX Vision by Martina Schell and James O’Brien. He thinks it is, ‘useful for charities because although we’re beginning to hire for UX design skills I think the sector is behind on baking them into the way they communicate internally. This is a great book for specialists looking to manage upwards, or for experienced managers who want to champion UX design principles.’
  • James Shaddock, Social Media Strategist at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, recommends two books: ‘ “Chaos Monkeys” by Antonia Garcia Martinez and “Marissa Meyer and the Fight to Save Yahoo!” by Nicholas Carlson are two of my favourites because they give a really interesting insight into how tech companies think and work which means you can understand how you can work with them better, and learn from their practices. The former in particular gives an excellent insight into how digital & social advertising works because it is written by one of the people behind Facebook Ads.’
  • Serena Snoad, Online Community Manager at Alzheimer’s Society, is a fan of  Patrick O’Keefe’s Managing Online Communities (apparently he also has a great blog and podcast). She says that it’s, ‘pretty much the go to resource for understanding, developing and running online communities. Patrick’s hard earned experience shows and the practical insights are massively helpful.’
  • Bradley Martin, designer at uiuxLondon.com thinks charities should read HTML and CSS by Jon Duckett , ‘because as a non-profit, there will probably need to be a lot of self starting and self reliance. If someone at the organisation can develop a broad knowledge of the fundamentals of the code that underpins websites, it will be a lot cheaper than dialling up a developer or designer when you need to make piecemeal changes. The starting point for that knowledge is this book.’

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this blog. It’s great to see so many books covering everything from the strategic to the operational end of tech.

Finally, I’d also like to recommend The Circle by Dave Eggers, a spookily prescient novel set in a big tech company which is an amalgam of Facebook and Google. I originally read this book back in 2013 and so much of it is starting to come true. If you want to know what might happen in digital tomorrow- and why we should be asking questions about how our data is used- then you need to read this.

Which tech books would you recommend to charities and why?