Jennifer Eagar recently joined AskRIGHT as a fundraising consultant in Christchurch in New Zealand. To complete our series of fundraising books recommended by our fundraising consultants, Jennifer has selected her top five books to improve fundraising skills.
Other AskRIGHT fundraising consultants have recommended both versions, and for good reason. Either version, the original by Henry A. “Hank” Rosso and Associates, or its updated copy by Eugene Temple, Tim Seiler and Eva Aldrich should be on every fundraiser’s desk within easy reach. This book is comprehensive and teaches fundraising as a concept, task, and profession, from beginning to end.
The first fundraising basic that every fundraiser should know is that people give to people. Ken Burnett guides the reader through fundraising knowing that the only way to fundraise is through relationships with people.
On the heels of Relationship Fundraising is my recommendation that everyone read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. A classic that is always timely, I first read this just after university and as I was beginning my fundraising career. I agree with Shelagh’s response that it is “the quintessential guide to fundraising and life!”
This wonderful book focuses specifically on how to fundraise with smaller budgets and smaller number of staff.
As most non-profits have less than 10 staff members, I find this a great reference for those who find themselves wearing many hats in their non-profit organisation.
Taking advice from Ken Burnett that to be a successful fundraiser, you must yourself be a donor, and see the world through a donor’s eyes. This book is personal and encourages the reader to be generous to find meaning, fulfilment, and happiness. Many fundraisers may feel they already know how important giving is, but we are reminded that donors can give not only money, but also leadership, time, skills, advice, attention, and many other intangibles that will foster a giving relationship with your donors.
BONUS – Asking: A 59-Minute Guide to Everything Board Members, Volunteers, and Staff Must Know to Secure the Gift by Jerold Panas
A quick guide on how to ask for money, in only an hour you will find that what seems like a daunting task can be broken down into simple steps. Working through these steps enable small victories, and by the time you’re finished you are ready to ask for anything! Without making the ask, the answer is always, “No.”
What about you? What are your five top fundraising books? Join the discussion on LinkedIn!
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