Why read about fundraising?  Because there’s some great thought leadership and inspiration contained in those pages.  Set yourself a goal of reading one really solid book on fundraising a month.  Or a quarter.  Whatever your schedule, treat yourself to sitting down on a regular basis with a good cup of coffee (or tea), a nice snack and get lost in the words of these great writers.  My favorite books on fundraising:

Fundraising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way
that we offer people an opportunity to participate
with us in our vision and mission.
Henri J.M. Nouwen, A Spirituality of Fundraising
At just 64 pages, this treatise from the renowned theologian packs more inspiration than works ten times its size.  Whether you’re a person of faith or not, it’s well worth the read.

Designs for Fundraising, Harold (Si) J. Seymour – This is THE book for the profession.  If you read nothing else, read this.  Read it once a year to remind yourself why you do what you do.

Donor-Centered Fundraising, Penelope Burk – Probably THE other must-read, seminal work on the subject.  An absolute must-read.  (Her Donor-Centered Leadership is also very good).

Fundraising Fundamentals:  A Guide to Annual Giving for Professionals and Volunteers, James Greenfield – Still one of the best on annual giving.

Relationship Fundraising, Ken Burnett

The Zen of Fundraising, Ken Burnett

Asking, Jerold Panas

Fundraising Principles and Practice, Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang

Essential Principles for Fundraising Success, G. Douglass Alexander and Kristina J. Carlson (This was my bible for YEARS – a great, no-nonsense, practical how-to guide).

Don’t Just Applaud, Send Money, Alvin H. Reiss – The first fundraising book I ever read; a good take on fundraising in the arts.

Successful Fundraising for Arts and Cultural Organizations, Karen Brooks Hopkins and Carolyn Stolper Friedman – This is another one that’s been on my shelf since Day 1.  A great reference for when you get stuck.

The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications, Jeff Brooks

Ask Without Fear!, Marc A. Pitman

Making Money With Donor Newsletters, Tom Ahern – Just read anything Tom Ahern writes, especially Keep Your Donors by Tom Ahern and Simone Joyaux

These are my top favorites and go-to books and authors.  What are yours?