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.
Fundraising Fundamentals: A Guide to Annual Giving for Professionals and Volunteers, James Greenfield – Still one of the best on annual giving.
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.
These are my top favorites and go-to books and authors. What are yours?