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Five books to help you fundraise better

by Christiana Stergiou

  1. Well, perhaps it’s not fair to say five. Every single Tiny Essentials of Fundraising book (about various topics, including fundraising, regular giving, major gifts and volunteer boards) is so short you can read it in your lunch hour. So I hope you and publisher Ken Burnett will forgive me for treating them as just one book. And if I did have to treat them as individual books, they’d take most of the spots on this list. You can find them all at White Lion Press.
  2. Fundraising When Money Is Tight, by Mal Warwick. Mal wrote this at the speed of light for the 2008/9 recession, but he’s really written a classic fundraising text. By doing the right things, and doing them well, you’ll be in a strong position to weather any crisis. He’s also written brilliant books about direct marketing, copywriting and fundraising strategy and they’re all helpful.
  3. Made to Stick, by brothers Chip and Dan Heath. If every fundraiser and nonprofit CEO took action based on what’s in this book, we’d be spared of the drivel that too often masquerades as nonprofit communications. How to develop simple, brilliant and effective messages. And a fun read, too!
  4. Ogilvy on Advertising, by the great master himself. It’s a shame that we won’t get to find out what David Ogilvy thinks of the new media world. However, the principles in Ogivly on Advertising, are timeless and still apply. I wish I’d read this before I spent a cent of charity money on advertising. You can read my review here.
  5. The Influential Fundraiser, by Bernard Ross and Clare Segal. Oh, I wish this book had been available when I was new to fundraising. Bernard’s and Clare’s  unique approach brings psychology and interpersonal communications learnings into the fundraising world and challenges you to look at any ask from the donor’s point of view. Great for bequest and major gift fundraisers too.

Do you have a book you’d like to add to this list? Or share your thoughts on any of the books listed. Please feel free to comment.


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