Summer. A season of endless sunshine, warm summer nights, and, most importantly, time out from our regular routines. When I have a bit of extra time, one of my favorite things to do is grab a new book and head for the beach. Summer reading lists abound, and I usually scour the Internet for the latest gems. Bill Gates publishes a yearly list of “5 Good Summer Reads.” Another favorite is the annual “UC Berkeley Summer Reading List for New Students”, which currently centers on the theme, “What Can We Change in a Single Generation?” TED speakers compile a “mega” reading list, a treasure trove of book recommendations organized by situations, such as, “When you’re on a staycation.”
In that spirit, I’ve come up with a summer reading list designed specifically for fundraisers. Here are five recommendations:
Fundraising, at its heart, is all about the art of communication. This book discusses communication techniques that are “proven to motivate donors to give generously, wholeheartedly, and repeatedly.” Aimed at both new and seasoned fundraising professionals, it includes recommendations on strategy, stylistic considerations, and design techniques.
This book focuses on building the personal connections necessary for a successful fundraising campaign. It aims to “show nonprofit leaders how to build a community of engaged partners who share a common passion and are eager to provide the resources needed to change the world—not just money, but also time, talents, personal networks, creative thinking, public support, and all the other forms of social capital.”
For fundraisers looking to expand the scope of their grant search, this is a must-read. This book examines trends in international grantmaking outside of North America and Europe, with a focus on the areas of innovation, technology, and major donors. It features illuminating examples of philanthropists from Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Russia, to name a few.
For those of you with annual giving programs, keeping your donors happy and engaged is no doubt a priority. Centered on the topic of donor retention, this book explores the “seven key drivers that deepen a donor's commitment, the eight primary reasons why donors stop giving, and the major barriers to donor retention.”
Bold is Gold: A Funding Research Primer, by Cynthia M. Adams
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. This primer is so new it hasn’t been released yet. Written by Cynthia M. Adams, the CEO of GrantStation, this step-by-step guide unlocks the mysteries of the fundraising research process to enable the reader to develop a grant strategy for a particular project. It focuses on creating a bold approach to grants research, and is full of insightful suggestions and examples gleaned from Cynthia’s 40+ years of grantseeking experience. Are you ready for part two of the secret? In conjunction with their summer sale, which starts on June 22nd, GrantStation will be offering a copy of Cynthia’s book for free with the purchase of a discounted Membership.
Action steps you can take today
Click on the links above to order a copy of the first four books mentioned in this article.
Visit the GrantStation website on June 22nd to purchase a discounted GrantStation Membership and receive a free copy Bold is Gold: A Funding Research Primer.
Visit the PathFinder website and click on “Books and Workbooks” to explore even more books to add to your summer reading list.
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