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Be the exceptional nonprofit leader your organization needs to thrive and make a difference today.

The Business of Giving is every nonprofit leader’s master class for successfully navigating turbulent social and economic times. In addition to providing fresh, actionable ideas, it will validate much of what you and your team are already doing. Read it now to make quick, sound decisions about your increasingly complex management challenges.

“So much important guidance in one place. Denver is in a powerful position, through years of his own experience, and extensive access to industry leaders. What a great resource he has created for us!”

– Ken Baker, CEO Glasswing International

Denver Frederick has developed deep and important insights about a topic that few have studied well. Denver has made a significant contribution to the field, and nonprofit leaders who want to build strong organizations need to read it.

– Louise Dube, Executive Director, iCivics

A straightforward guide to help any leader make the largest possible difference in their organization and the lives of those they serve.

– Clementine Jacoby, Executive Director, Recidiviz

Denver Frederick is a rare individual who led some spectacular successes in making real the renovation of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and many others. He also devoted much of his career to talking to nonprofit leaders…

Carter Roberts, CEO, World Wildlife Fund

Nonprofit leaders can learn from the best, as Denver curates the broadest possible lessons from his years of experience as a leader and coach of leaders. This should be top-of-the-read-pile for busy nonprofit CEOs – and their boards.

Karl Hofmann, CEO, Population Services International

“These past couple years have been especially hard for nonprofit organizations and few understand this nonprofit world better than Denver Frederick. If you’re a leader who is looking to navigate these unpredictably challenging times, this book is for you.”

– Jennifer Lotito, President and COO of (RED)

By skillfully blending the wisdom of subject experts with the experiences of nonprofit CEOs, Denver brings to life the best practices that all leaders should embrace to maximize their organization’s impact. This book is a must read!

– Dr. Robert Livingston, Harvard Kennedy School, Author of The Conversation

Nobody covers the philanthropy landscape like Denver Frederick. The number of leaders and experts he’s interviewed is astounding, and I’m so glad to see he’s distilled their insights intoThe Business of Giving, a book I’m delighted to recommend!

– Raj Kumar, CEO, Devex

Few can match Denver Frederick’s nuanced understanding of effective leadership in the not for profit world, or his skill in drawing insights from leaders through deep conversations about their work.

– Rosanne Haggerty, CEO, Community Solutions

Denver’s new book is a classic in the making. This must-read book will make every leader better.

– David Flink and Marcus Soutra Co-Foudners, Eye to Eye

This book is like a very fine wine—it is consumed smoothly and one keeps thinking about it afterwards! I can’t wait to share this book with my leader colleagues and friends.

Sean Mayberry, CEO, StrongMinds

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Dive into the chapter topics in The Business of Giving:


Chapter 1: Leading Through Complexity

A complicated world with difficult problems to solve has become a complex one where problems seem unsolvable. Whether you lead an organization or manage a team, a whole new mindset and set of skills is required to lead through this complexity. Contributions from the CEOs of Malala Fund, Draper Richards Kaplan, Heifer International, American Red Cross, Girltrek, New York Philharmonic, Springboard Collaborative and others.

Chapter 2: Solving the Right Problem

Problem Solving is what leaders do. But how can we be sure we’re solving the right problem? Who solves the problem? And how can we do it better? Subject experts weigh in on these questions and provide a suggested structure and methodology for nonprofit leaders. Additional contributions from the CEOs of Community Solutions, Tostan, Share Our Strength, Simprints and DREAM.

Chapter 3: Decision Hygiene

Bold moves in a crisis are critical. Subject experts address how bias, noise and context impact decision-making and the steps you can take to improve yours. Additional insights on decision making are offered by the CEOs of Komen, American Cancer Society, ideas42, MasterCard Inclusive Growth, StrongMinds and the American Heart Association.

Chapter 4: The Board: Create Stability and Manage Change

This chapter addresses the role of a Board Member, the importance of the relationship between the Board Chair and CEO, maintaining financial stability in the midst of continuing crisises, and how to successfully bring change to your organization. CEOs featured include the Ford Foundation, , Metropolitan Museum of Art, Habitat for Humanity, BoardSource, Humanity United, Girls, Inc. and Ronald McDonald House Charities.


Chapter 5: Inner Work

Radical self-inquiry might just be one of the most important practices leaders can develop to keep themselves—and therefore the organization—in a healthy place. The chapter addresses the benefits of inner work, imposter syndrome, burnout and wellbeing for you and your team. Perspectives include those of the the CEOs from Reboot, Synergos, Heron Foundation, Blue Meridian and the Wellbeing Project.

Chapter 6: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What They Hear

Two things leaders must do to be effective communicators is be intentional and be organic. This chapter draws heavily on experts who provide tips on using language effectively, asking the right kind of questions that promote authentic dialogue, and the importance of context and place to communication. Among the organizations featured are Kiva, B Corps, the WISE Fund, Ronald McDonald House Charities, GiveWell and Year Up.

Chapter 7: Meaningful Connections

The key to being a good leader with a strong, engaged team comes down to the three Cs: caring, coaching, and connection. This chapter provides examples of what leaders and managers are doing, as well as what they have learned over the past 3 years. Among the CEOs featured are New Story Charity, Kessler Foundation, St. Jude (ALSAC), and CECP.

Chapter 8: DEIB: A Continuous Journey

Racism is an underlying force that pushes society in a certain direction. Organizations can start to work against the stream by ensuring they focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. This chapter offers insight from experts in the field as well as viewpoints on inclusion from leaders at ProInspire, YMCA, PolicyLink, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Amani Global Works, NTEN, and others.


Chapter 9: Innovation

There’s Always Another Version Innovation can’t happen without a thorough examination of organizational assumptions, a fearless pursuit of the audacious goal at every level, openness to diverse perspectives, analogous research, testing with data, quick acceptance of failure, and prominent identification and recognition of success. This chapter examines all that with the help of the World Wildlife Fund, charity:water, Imaginable Futures, Namati, and Population Services International.

Chapter 10: What’s Your Digital Age?

With how fast things change in the world, the most important thing a nonprofit can do to ensure its survival is to adapt—and that can only happen if technology is at the heart of the organization. The chapter examines what sets tech nonprofits apart, data for social good, best practices for delivering your program virtually, and more. Some of the nonprofits mentioned are DataKind, Beyond 12, SIRUM, Fast Forward, Khan Academy, and Games for Change.

Chapter 11: Trust, Transparency, and your Team

You may have all the technological bells and whistles, big donor money and efficient systems, but if you don’t have trust, transparency, and teams, you won’t get very far, and you won’t get much done. We examine this with subject experts as well as the CEOs of One Love, Freedom Fund, LaunchCode, Sesame Workshop, and Street Business School.

Chapter 12: Scaling for Impact

It’s easy to get excited about shiny, new ideas. Innovation makes people feel hopeful. But how much does innovation matter if organizations can’t figure out how to scale—meaning to grow and replicate—their ideas to increase their impact? Some of the best practices are offered here from the leaders of Spring Impact, Mulago Foundation, LavaMaeX, Rippleworks, New America and Vision Spring.


Chapter 13: Shifting Power

As the COVID-19 pandemic forced nonprofits across the country to get creative, it also revealed some of the biggest pitfalls to the way nonprofits and their funders have traditionally functioned. This chapter addresses the disparities and inequities that exist and what is being done – and still needs to be done- to address them. The ideas from the CEOs of the Hartford Foundation, Monitor Institute, Common Future, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Blood:Water and the Whitman Institute, are presented.

Chapter 14: Financing the Mission

Fundraising is obviously a huge topic, but we’ll talk about a handful of important developments here, including the impact of COVID-19, the importance of branding, the acceleration of online giving, AI and fundraising, major gift solicitation done virtually, virtual and hybrid galas, cryptocurrency, and timeless advice. Contributors include Against Malaria Foundation, Classy, CharityBuzz, Tiltify, Giving Block and She’s the First.

Chapter 15: Impact Investing

Impact investing came from a recognition that the way we were traditionally solving the world’s problems, through government efforts and philanthropy alone, was insufficient for the nature of inequality and climate change and all the other issues we’re facing around the world. This chapter will provide readers with a snapshot of this field through the the lens of the CEOs of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), ImpactAssets, US Impact Investing Alliance, Kapor Capital, Blue Haven Initiatve, and the Acumen Fund.

Chapter 16: Initiatives Gaining Traction

As the landscape of giving continues to change, it’s worth examining initiatives that are gaining traction. One common thread is a general shift toward democratizing and decentralizing the way funds are raised, distributed, and used. Topics covered include Giving Circles, Mutual Aid Societies, Pooled Funds, Collaboratives, Social Impact Bonds and Donor-Advised Funds. Leaders from Philanthropy Together, One for Democacy, Social Finance Black Benefectors, JDRF, and GiveDirectly are included.


Chapter 17: Righting Past Wrongs

This chapter discusses what it means to be anti-racist, the impact of systemic and historical racism, and what we can do about it. Tackling racial injustice, inequality, and equity in funding is something all nonprofit leaders must bake into the very fundamentals of their organization. The chapter features the CEOs of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Echoing Green, Bridgespan Group, PolicyLink, Upsolve and the Libra Foundation.

Chapter 18: Rewriting the Social Contract

Philanthropy is concerned with creating a fair, just, and equitable society. While that often means challenging the system and working to address its flaws, we nevertheless do work within the parameters of that system. And that system, of course, is capitalism. Today’s thought leaders suggest we reimagine the system if we want to ultimately accomplish our goals. The ideas in this chapter are offered by the CEOs of the Hewlett Foundation, Omidyar Network, Kickstarter, the Roosevelt Institute, Global Citizen Year and JUST Capital.

Chapter 19: Under the Hood

To create deep, lasting social change is an incredibly complex task. No one person or organization can do it alone. To truly tackle issues such as poverty, health disparities, education gaps, and more will take serious reconfiguration of policies, power structures, and processes. In other words, systems change. The best thinkers on systems change from institutions such as Collective Change Lab, New Profit, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Catalyst 2030 and Think of Us weigh in.

Chapter 20: Your Napster Moment

In 1999, a teenager and a relatively simple piece of technology that allowed file sharing, rocked the music industry. It has become known as the “Napster Moment.” Many organizations in the Philanthropic and Nonprofit sector are experiencing their Napster Moment right now. And so are many of its leaders. This chapter poses questions about your organization and your own leadership. Please pause and reflect upon them.

In The Business of Giving,
You’ll Learn How To:


Significantly improve your organization’s problem-solving capacity


Step up to become the ultimate “sense maker” for your team or organization


Build a culture of innovation where new ideas come from everywhere


Master scaling to create maximum impact


Communicate intentionally and organically with others

And many more!

Get insightful tips on leadership, innovation, systems change, power sharing, and other relevant nonprofit matters delivered to your inbox.


    Radio Show Host, Speaker, Moderator, and Executive Coach

    Denver Frederick is a trusted advisor and executive coach to nonprofit CEOs, acting as a comprehensive resource, confidant, and consultant. In his 40-plus years in the nonprofit sector, he has served as a CEO, led the fundraising campaign to restore the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, assisted renowned actor Michael J. Fox in launching his Parkinson’s foundation, and pioneered the movement of peer-to-peer fundraising.

    For the past 10 years, Denver has hosted The Business of Giving, a nationally syndicated radio show turned podcast. In nearly 1,000 interviews with nonprofit CEOs and subject experts, he’s revealed their challenges and the innovative solutions comprising new best practices for social impact organizations. He’s also conducted over 150 team focus groups to surface the “secret sauce” of organizational cultures that makes them irresistible places to work.

    Denver has taught at the NYU School of Fundraising Management and is a certified professional executive coach. He is a sought-after speaker who has appeared at forums such as the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference and the Citi Foundation Annual Convening of Grantees and Partners.