Some of us learn by doing, some by listening, and others learn by reading. This list of must-read fundraising books is for those of us who learn through books.
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”
Fundraising requires an in-depth knowledge of what works for which type of organization. In order to lead in the right direction, you as a nonprofit professional must read right. These 5 fundraising books are a storehouse of knowledge, and will help you improve your fundraising skills. Let’s start!
Building Donor Loyalty: The Fundraiser’s Guide to Increasing Lifetime Value
This book by Adrian Sargeant and Elaine Jay is a hands-on guide written solely to help professional fundraisers. It is based on data drawn from a research that included more than 20,000 nonprofit organizations. The research was funded by the Aspen Foundation and the Indiana Fund through the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. The book outlines ways to keep donors committed to an organization and driving donor retention. It also offers tips and advice on how nonprofits can develop and generate donor value over time. It is a lot of information published in just 250 pages making it for a short and interesting read.
The Network Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change
Authored by Bath Kanter, Allison Fine and Randi Zuckerberg this fundraising book is truly a groundbreaking text. We now live in a world that is finely connected, and this book directs nonprofit organizations towards a new way of operating in such a scenario. It is majorly about a networked approach made possible by technology, the internet and social media.
Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead
This book was published in 2019 and is written by Jim Mattis and Bing West. It provides its audience with a clear-eyed account of learning to lead in a world as chaotic as ours. In the words of Patrick Coleman, CEO, GiveCentral, “…the authors encourage leaders to be learners, to build great teams and to be willing to fail. Their acknowledgement of the willingness to fail is a great skill. They are living what they believe in, by keeping a library of several thousand books — learning never stops. Lastly, they help in identifying the kind of team that is critical to the growth of a charity.”
Asking Styles: Harness Your Personal Fundraising Power
At the heart of all fundraising lies “the ask”. So far as asking for donations and support, it is quite a task for nonprofit professionals. More so when you want to experiment with different asking styles. This book by Andrea Kihlstedt shows us the best ways to ask for gifts by leveraging our personality traits. Likewise, the asking style of your nonprofit organization and board members has a very big influence on the result of your fundraising campaign or even major gift programs. In conclusion, a toast to bringing your A game, this is yet another must read!
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Authored by Chip and Dan Heath, this book is great for people who wanting to harness the power of influencing other people. The authors unravel the factors that make an idea or a message “stick” and not fade away. This is a book that helps you change the way you communicate ideas for good. Moreover, it includes a series of success stories and failures, and experiences to read and learn from.
Firstly, it is important to remember that reading doesn’t necessarily have to be done individually. If you are an organization looking to grow your team towards better fundraising, you must consider having a group reading session once or twice a month. In other words, you learn and grow together. However, the best part is that reading together is possible online on through a video call. The session doesn’t have to be long, it can be just an hour and still be a very productive one.
We hope that these fundraising books help and assist you in your planning, working and functioning. All the very best!