I have four three-ring binders on my desk. Each with a print-out of a book in it.
I shuttle them in turn between home and work, since peculiarly, they touch both on my work and personal — that is to say, church — life, and I thought you might be interested in these four nonfiction reference works which take up my lunch hour and early evenings.
The first two deal with organizing data and people in nonprofit settings. More or less.
- Jono Bacon, The Art of Community: Building the New Age of Participation. O’Reilly. Purchase a print copy or download a liberal-licensed copy.
- CiviCRM. FLOSS Manuals. Electronic formats, to read online or download under a liberal license, or purchase a print copy. Documentation for the constituent relationship management software of the same name.
The other two deal with accounting, and while referring to software systems, are useful for reinforcing accounting concepts.
- GnuCash Tutorial and Concepts Guide. (PDF) Electronic formats only, to read online, through the software interface or download under a liberal license. GnuCash is the most robust free-and-open-source software for accounting, and seems like a good candidate for church and ministry use.
- Mango Course Handbook: Practical Financial Mangement for NGOs — Getting the Basics Right. Intended to improve accounting standards in developing countries, but has been very helpful in learning concepts, and I wonder if the Mango tools might be enough for a small church to use. You’ll need to sign up to download everything, of which this handbook is one part.
All sound too dull? I’ve also got “Frederic Henry Hedge: Unitarian Theologian of the Broad Church,” the spring-summer 1981 number of the Unitarian Universalist Christian journal. But that’s for kicks, and — alas — not online.