Books


Alex has been a prolific writer on topics related to international humanitarian efforts and nonprofit leadership since the late 1990s.  His most recent book, Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship (Rivertowns Books, 2019), is now available on Amazon and also through your local independent bookseller using this cool tool.

Praise for his new book:

"I have admired Alex Counts' commitment and contributions to the international humanitarian movement since I met him while he was living in Bangladesh early in his career.  This book is a candid account of what he has learned through trial and error about how to make a sustained impact and avoid burnout.  It is an invaluable resource for the next generation of changemakers." — Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson, BRAC

“Do you have an idea that would help others that you don’t know how to implement?  Are you worn out from working in the nonprofit world without achieving results? This book will give you the confidence and skills you need to make a real difference.  Alex Counts has been there and done that. Now he shares his vast experience on how to save yourself while you save others.” — U.S. Senator Mike Enzi 

“Remarkably candid, self-reflective, generous, and practical, this book is part memoir, part self-help. Alex is an astute observer whose amazing memory helps him recount his own healing journey in vivid detail, offering stories, lessons, and sage advice that will benefit many readers. You’ll love this book, and you'll laugh out loud as you read it!”  — Susan Davis, Co-Author, Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know, Past Chair, Grameen Foundation & Co-founder, BRAC USA

 “Alex brings us insights on social impact with thoughtful reflection and generous advice. With verve and wit, he distills key leadership lessons from his decades of service building one of the great pioneering organizations in the financial inclusion movement.” –- Michael Schlein, CEO, Accion

 "Effective social entrepreneurship is both an art and a science.  In this book, Alex Counts generously shares what he learned during more than 25 years addressing pressing issues such as poverty.  It will be an invaluable resource to the next generation of entrepreneurs, both social and traditional, especially as it addresses not only how to make an impact but also how to ensure that it does not come at great personal cost." — M. R. Rangaswami, Founder, Indiaspora

 “Alex Counts has led a major organization, taken principled moral stands, and made decisions that have helped humanity on a grand scale. As all-consuming as that is, he has also led a life of balance. If you need to get world-changing things done, but you don’t want to ruin your life at the same time, Alex is the perfect person from whom to seek advice.” — Mark Levy, Founder of Levy Innovation LLC and author of Accidental Genius

 

Praise for his past books include the following (with additional endorsements below):

“Best of all, [Counts’] binational book demonstrates that microcredit isn’t an exotic quick fix but the kind of slow, often frustrating, step-by-step progress that is usually the hallmark of real change.”  -- San Francisco Chronicle

“Most banking stories are great cures for insomnia.  But this author wisely hones in on the humanity of the borrowing women, whose loans payments are as vital a part of their lives as breathing is to us…. Give Us Credit has the vitality of a work in progress, with human stories that lenders and anyone interested in the human side of business will appreciate.”  -- Minneapolis Star-Tribune  


Alex’s Books including chapters in books edited by others (in chronological order)

Changing the World without Losing Your Mind, by Alex Counts, Rivertowns Books, 2019

“Alex Counts,” interview with me as chapter 7 in Experimental Conversations: Perspectives in Randomized Trials in Development Economics, Timothy N. Ogden, editor (MIT Press, 2016)

Small Loans, Big Dreams (John Wiley and Sons, August 2008)

Voices from the Field (CASHPOR, 1997)

Give Us Credit (Times Books/Random House, 1996)

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Praise for Small Loans, Big Dreams and Give Us Credit

“I was enthralled to see the difference a few dollars loaned with no collateral in Bangladesh could benefit and change Chicago’s poorest of the poor. I learned how pennies defeated myths about the poor. This book will renew your belief in the American Dream and show that there can be economic liberty and justice for all here AND abroad! This story must be told and retold - and then updated again as the successes pour in. Please keep fast-forwarding!” — Mike Enzi, U.S. Senator, Wyoming

“Counts moves past facts and figures to show the human side — and human cost — of poverty By focusing on the experiences of individual women, Counts demonstrates the power of microfinance to bring opportunity where it otherwise would not exist, and ultimately transform people’s lives. I am pleased to be able to support Grameen, as I believe its important work address one of the critical issues of our time.” — Pierre Omidyar, founder and Chairman, eBay; cofounder and founding partner, Omidyar Network

“Alex Counts has spent his career building a movement to expand access to credit for the world’s poorest citizens. He describes the power of simple ideas to bring banks to Bangladeshi villages, and how those ideas have traveled across continents. It’s an improbable story of global proportions, told by a gifted story-teller with inside access.” —- Jonathan Morduch, Professor or Public Policy and Economics, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University

“Counts has stretched my thinking around social investment models of possibility through the compelling stories, and his dedication, evidenced in this book. He gives the reader the gut knowledge and the rich/poor divide issue does not need to be the failed challenge of our globalizing generation. The book inspires around solutions with dignity.” — D. Wayne Silby, Foundation Chair, Calvert Social Funds

“Small Loans, Big Dreams provides an insight into microfinance, as it has evoled from the origins of Grameen Bank, led by Muhammad Yunus, to that of a broader social and business movement. Counts calls for business and social entrepreneurs to collaborate to make access to credit more inclusive and to ensure that even the smallest entrepreneurs share in the opportunity to realize their potential.” — Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Microfinance

“At a time when ‘change’ is the watchword, here is a story of the devotion and tenacity it takes to turn a powerful idea into a powerful reality.” — Janet McKinely, retired chair, The Income Fund of America, Inc.

“As the right-hand man of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Alex Counts is uniquely positioned to share intimate and enlightening insights into the world of microfinance. The real-life stories of the borrowers, and the impact that these small loans make on their lives and their families, will touch your heart and change your way of thinking about poverty forever. Thanks to the dedication of Dr. Yunus, Alex Counts, and the many other committed people in this book, we are truly on the road to making poverty a relic of history.” — Elizabeth Fund, CEO, Dignity Fund