Nonprofits are frequently told they should "act more like businesses".
Nancy Lublin, founder of Dress for Success and current CEO of Do Something felt it was time to change the paradigm and offer businesses lessons from the nonprofit sector. And that's what Zilch is about.
Zilch is certainly an eye-catching name that in many ways accurately represents how nonprofits succeed in having an impact using very limited resources. But, in my opinion: Nancy Lublin has done a great job of providing a good Nonprofit Management 101. On the other hand, providing lessons for business, who cares? To be honest, I don't think business cares either.
Anyway, the eleven chapters of Zilch are each cleverly titled "Do More (something)". The point is clear: more can be done even without more money, with more effective use of the brand, by better utilizing board or staff or volunteers and of course, with the money a business (nonprofit) has. These offerings are thoughtful and even helpful and what works best is the examples which include Dress For Success. Really, folks, including me, love to hear how someone makes something successful, be it for-profit or nonprofit. Learning some of the "secrets" of Dress for Success and Do Something and a bit about Teach for America were really the treats from Zilch.
So, if you are entering into the nonprofit sector or maybe you have even been in the sector awhile and need a refresher course and maybe a few new ideas, pick up Nancy Lublin's "Zilch". It's good summer reading.