Global Best Practices for CSO, NGO and Other Nonprofit Boards: Lessons from Around the World

BoardSource/Wiley 2018

Shanghai University Finance & Economic Press 2019

An ideal resource for boards everywhere!

There are at least 10 million Civil Society Organizations (CSO)s in the world, each of them with a board composed of individuals doing their best to govern well and wisely. There is no single model of governance to emulate, but are there universal principles and practices that can help boards everywhere perform at the highest level? This book takes us for a trip around the world to look at what is working for boards. Its discoveries will help not only boards, but also nonprofit staff leaders seeking to assist their boards to optimal performance, and capacity-builders looking to strengthen their civil society sector. Even if your organizational concerns extend no further than city boundaries, this book is for you. One of the greatest governance challenges today is a lack of diversity on the board. This can seriously hamper an organization’s ability to realize mission and to understand and serve its community. Reading this book will provide a greater understanding of how the cultural context affects governance and will sensitize the reader to different ways of thinking about governance. Global Best Practices For CSO, NGO and Other Nonprofit Boards presents case studies from different parts of the world that illustrate effective practice, identifies and discusses interesting and significant differences, and explores global governance trends with implications for us all:

  • Tests for universal truths about roles, responsibilities and practices using criteria established by BoardSource, the premier voice on nonprofit governance
  • Provides information that builds exceptional nonprofit boards
  • Discusses cultural differences in governance that will help all boards to better function in increasingly diverse environments
  • Offers inspiration to NGO boards in any part of civil society
  • Reflects on the future of governance worldwide

If you’re a capacity-builder, a board member, or an executive leader looking for guidance on governance, this is the book you’ll want to have on hand. Available at

The Chinese language version will be published by the Shanghai University Finance and Economic Press in 2019 - the first book on nonprofit governance in China.

Nonprofit Consulting Essentials: What Nonprofits and Consultants Need to Know

Alliance for Nonprofit Management/Wiley 2010

This book is an important resource for nonprofit professionals who wish to become consultants and for those consultants who want to improve their craft and equip themselves for the current climate of dramatic and discontinuous change. Whether you are just entering the sector or looking to refresh your skills, this book is a must-read.

“Practically useful, Cagney's research will be of great use to anyone interested in improving nonprofit institutions, deriving the greatest benefit from consultants, and understanding what really goes on inside large organizations."

Christopher McKenna, MBA prgram director and reader in business history and strategy, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford; and fellow, Brasenose College, Oxford, UK

"No nonprofit executive should be without a copy of this book on their desk. It represents the end of having to wing it when it comes to managing your investment in a consultant. You, your consultants and the results of your relationships will all be the better for the practical, insightful framework Penelope has put together here. And the scope of it is impressive, covering fundraising, marketing, governance, management and even international consulting. Say goodbye to the confusion that has typically surrounded this whole arena. Should you hire a consultant? You'll know after reading this great contribution to the field. Nothing like it has ever been compiled before."

Dan Pallotta, Author, Uncharitable

"I started consulting to nonprofits back in the 1980's. If only I had this very useful book back then! It is filled with valuable insights and how-tos--a terrific resource for the field."

Beth Kanter, Author, Beth's Blog and Co-Author, The Networked Nonprofit

Global Fundraising: How the World is Changing the Rules of Philanthropy                            

Shanghai University Finance & Economic Press 2018

AFP International /Wiley 2013

"Global Fundraising" has been licensed by the Shanghai University Finance and Economics Press and is the first book on fundraising to be published in China. The Chinese version is available at and

The 2015 AFP/Skystone Partners Prize in Research Winner Choice Award - Top Books for 2015 is a practical guide to the challenges and successes of global fundraising, written by an international team of highly respected philanthropy professionals and edited by two of the leading nonprofit thinkers, Global Fundraising is the first book to genuinely offer a global overview of philanthropy with an internationalist perspective.

"This book is a must-read for CEOs and fundraisers who work within a global context or are considering entering. The information is a comprehensive treatment of the global fundraising picture including the specific areas of major gifts, grant-making to online giving, and how social media can have an impact. I'm sure this book will become a pillar for educational institutions that teach international third-sector management or a fundraising curriculum. This book will certainly become required reading for us at Make-A-Wish International. I highly recommend this book by Penelope Cagney and Bernard Ross."

Jon Stettner, President and CEO, Make-A-Wish® Foundation International

"Global Fundraising is filling an important gap in our knowledge of philanthropy with global perspectives. It provides fair coverage of regions that have evolving characteristics and shifting trends of philanthropy as is the case in the Arab region, caused by developments resulting from the Arab Spring. Definitely an important book to have."

Dr. Atallah Kuttab, Chairman, SAANED for Philanthropy Advisory, Arab Region

"What a great source of information! Global Fundraising gives you a detailed and exhaustive presentation of the latest international fundraising trends. It is an asset to the nonprofit world an invaluable resource for any fundraiser who is willing to cross national borders and for those who would like to know more about other countries' trends and find new ideas to implement. I couldn't think of a better book for both young students and established professionals to broader their knowledge about the increasingly global philanthropy world."

Valerio Melandri, Professor and Director, Masters in Fundraising, University of Bologna, Italy