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Paperback  |  $14.95

5 x 8 inches  | 250 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0-9790080-7-8


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Leading a nonprofit organization is challenging, stressful work—yet it can also be richly rewarding. Alex Counts mastered the art of mission-driven leadership through decades of trial and error, as he built from scratch one of today’s most admired philanthropic foundations. Now he shares 214 of the most powerful lessons he discovered along the way—life and career secrets you'll never learn in school. Frank, quirky, counterintuitive, and ultimately inspiring, these nuggets of wisdom cover the toughest challenges nonprofit leaders face:


  • On defining your organization’s mission: “Be bold, but be grounded.”

  • On running a meeting: “Agendas are made to be bent.”

  • On surviving business travel: “Check the seat pocket one more time.”

  • On people management: “It’s okay to have a few enemies.”

  • On capturing an audience’s attention: “Start with your conclusion.”

  • And on the art of fundraising: “Stop talking.”


When in Doubt, Ask for More is Alex Counts’s gift to everyone working in the nonprofit world—employees and leaders in nongovernmental organizations, charities, foundations, government agencies, faith-based organizations, political and social advocacy groups, and more. They’ll find that Alex Counts's sage advice can help them get through the day feeling more in control while making a greater impact on the world they seek to serve.

“Each tiny lesson is a self-contained, salient observation that shines a light on a specific aspect of leadership. . . . Whatever the subject, the author condenses a meaningful pronouncement into its simplest, most elegant form, using high-impact prose to make his point. . . . Parceled out pearls of leadership wisdom.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Alex Counts has been critical to creating and building the global microcredit movement from its start. He knows how to lead. And how to write! When in Doubt, Ask for More will help you be a more powerful leader—and have fun doing so.”—Bill Drayton, Ashoka: Everyone a Changemaker


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Alex Counts founded Grameen Foundation and became its President and CEO in 1997. A Cornell University graduate, Counts’s commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Since its modest beginnings, Grameen Foundation has grown to become a leading international humanitarian organization.  


     Counts is the author of Small Loans, Big Dreams: How Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus and Microfinance Are Changing the World (Wiley, 2008), Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind (Rivertowns Books, 2019) and numerous articles in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the Washington Post, and other publications.  Today he is an independent consultant to nonprofit organizations and an adjunct professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland College Park.

     Learn more about Alex Counts at