4 Tips for Improving a Reading Habit

In general, we nonprofit professionals know what the goals are for the year at our nonprofit – securing grant funding and donations to meet the budget, making new partners to increase our program offerings, researching new grant funding opportunities, etc. Nonprofits create strategic plans, annual development plans, organizational budgets, case statements, and other documents to keep them on track. But what are your goals to take care of yourself?  


Our sector can be trying, and if we don’t take care of ourselves, we may find ourselves burnt out. That is why habits that help you care for yourself are most important. One of those new habits may include moving more like Diane (Read her annual check up here) or to read more this year like these three professional development books for grant professionals.  


If one of your goals involved reading, I’ve got 4 tips for you.

  1. Set a reading goal: I have used the Goodreads’ Reading Challenge every year since 2012 and have increased the number of books I’ve read each year. Setting a reading goal gives me a number to works toward all year. I know I need to read often to meet my goal.
  2. Track the books you read: Gretchen Rubin wrote in Better Than Before, “If we want something to count in our lives, we should figure out a way to count it.” There are many ways to track the books you read. I personally use Goodreads, a printable reading journal, and social media (My reading instagram account). Anne Bogel, Modern Mrs. Darcy, recently recorded a podcast about the ways 15 readers track their reading.  
  3. Get a library card & the Overdrive App: Libraries offer patrons paper books, audiobooks, ebooks, and many other services.The Overdrive App is the app libraries use to let you borrow ebooks and audiobooks. One of the best ways to support a library is to use it, and by using it, you have thousands of books available to read. Something for everyone. Throw in the Overdrive App and you will have enough books to last you lifetimes.  
  4. Participate in a book club: Book clubs are a great way to meet new people or establish deeper relationships with people you already know. You could join an already established book club. Check with your local library, bookstore, and friends to find one. Or you could start your own. Grab some friends or nonprofit colleagues and get reading.  


Book clubs can meet in person or online. Diane and I are in a book club together with a few grant professionals who like to read and live all over the country. We interact with each other a lot online, but only get to see each other in person a couple of times a year maximum. The grant professionals book club gives us a chance to get to know each other better, build shared experiences, and read even though we live all over the United States. Our book club uses Goodreads, but you could use a Facebook group, email, or whatever works best for your group.


“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke


Happy Reading.

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