Free book because you are fabulous!


Two years ago this week, Rosetta Thurman and I released the book “How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar”. It has been a wild ride ever since. We’ve traveled from New York to Hawaii and from Indiana to Texas on the Nonprofit Rockstar book tour. If the tour has missed your town (Alaska, I’m looking at you) or if you’d like us to come back (Hawaii, you complete me) then contact us here. We’ve talked to young professionals groups, Chambers of Commerce, EPIP chapters, United Ways, community foundations, and universities.

None of this would have happened without YOU. You went to bat for us on conference planning committees, you encouraged your staff and students to read the book, and some of you baby boomers even bought copies for your nonprofit career-bound kids. You tweeted nice thingswrote book reviews on Amazon, and you even nominated us for a book award.

For one week only (October 29th to November 2nd), we are giving you a free electronic copy of “How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar” ($19.99 value), when you use this link. You will receive a complete PDF of the book, as our way of saying thanks for being such a nonprofit rockstar. Get one for yourself, your co-workers, your neighbor in graduate school studying nonprofit management, and your book club. Spread the love and tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Last year, we gave away 650 copies of the book, with your help we can double that number this year.

Are you building the business of you?

 I am looking for social entrepreneurs, nonprofit rockstars, and all around do gooders that are trying to build the reach of their book, speaking career, consulting business or other business enterprise to participate in a 30-45 minute interview by phone. Participants will be rewarded for their generosity of time with a signed copy of "How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar" for themselves and a copy to be donated to the University of their choice.

If you are interested in participating in a call, send me an email (tristaharris at with the subject line: phone interview

In the body of the email please list:


Type of business (speaker, author, etc.)

Number of years you have had this business

Please share this widely with your network.


Always be ready for the mike

I went to a meeting this week and was running a little late. I knew it would be a lunch gathering about a project that I lead but didn't have a lot of other details. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for making it just on time when I slipped into my seat. I took a look at the program and was beyond surprised when I saw that I was the second speaker listed. A few years ago I would have broken into a stress sweat and hid in the bathroom waiting for them to go on without me. Instead I continued the great conversation I was having with my table mates and when they called my name I reminded myself to stick to 5 minutes and gave what I hope was an informative and friendly introduction to the program that I lead.

So the key to going from shock to ease in just a few minutes...preparation.  For programs that I may be asked to give an impromptu speech about, I have a 30 second, 5 minute, 15 minute, and thirty minute version that I am ready to do anytime. I also have speeches in the same lengths ready to talk about myself, my organization, my job, the Nonprofit Rockstar book and the future of philanthropy. It isn't as overwhelming as it sounds. I often use the Beyond Bullet Points method to script the outline and the version can get longer as I add details and stories to my key points.

Being a prepared public speaker sets you apart professionally and decreases your need to hid in the bathroom in fear exponetially.

New Year, New Philanthropy Job?

*Note: It is a common misconception that philanthropy jobs look like this, be prepared for piles of paper and no private jet.

I've heard from many of my recruiter friends that January is a prime time for organizations to start searches because people often make New Year's resoultions to get a new job. If you have a resolution to get a job in the philanthropic field, here are a few pieces of advice to help you on your journey:

Develop Expertise: Lots of foundations (especially community foundations or unstaffed foundations) need volunteers to help them make grantmaking decisions. Volunteer your services and build some expertise in grantmaking.  As Rosetta Thurman says "don't volunteer for free", get some new skills out of it.

Build a Strong Network: While you are volunteering, build your network. Use that foot in the door to attend philanthropy conferences or foundation briefings. I got my first volunteer opportunity in philanthropy by sneaking into a Joint Affinity Group meeting. A funder that I knew saw me there and asked me if I was interested in being on one of their grant review committees, that led to consulting work with that foundation, and then to a job there as a program officer. (Check out my post "So you wanna be a Program Officer" for more tips on how to get a job reviewing grants)

Brand Yourself: Different foundations have different brands, for example academic, community-focused, cutting edge, or stuffy. Find a foundation that aligns with your personal brand and make sure that your resume and cover letter highlight your brand.

Take the Leap: It is easy to psyc yourself out and not apply for your dream philanthropy job. Sometimes you have to suck it up and take a chance. If you want to make a difference through grantmaking, prepare and be willing to take the leap.