Book Review: '10 Simple Fundraising Lessons'
Over the holidays, I took some time to finish a few books in my stack of fundraising books to read. Trust me, I learn something every time, and I’ve been raising funds for years.
Jim Eskin wrote a book on simple fundraising lessons, and it’s a great little gem for a few reasons:
- It’s short and sweet, and you can read it in less than one hour. Who does not have one hour to learn something new?
- It really helps define some of the basics those who run a nonprofit should know and accept. The more people read this; the more money will be raised.For example, lesson No. 7 is to give a number. I still see many organizations that do not have a goal for a campaign. It doesn’t really matter if it’s a campaign aimed at large or small donors. Your donors need help setting the value of their gift, and giving them a number helps. Often, nonprofits are not willing to come up with a number. How can you ask someone for money if you can’t tell them how much their gift can make a difference?
- Lesson No. 8, thank seven times, is an important one, too. I realize that this year is different because of the pandemic, but I still see too many organizations that simply say to the donor: “You should be OK with me sending you just an email receipt, and that’s that.” You’re certainly not blowing donors away by assuming that they are OK with that unless you don’t want them to give again. If you really want to build up a relationship with them, how about sending them a handwritten thank-you note? Especially now, that type of personal connection will be highly appreciated!
- Lesson No. 9, the giving starts here, is paramount. If you can’t even give a small gift to the organization you serve, it’s much harder to ask someone else for a gift. That goes especially for your board! If they can’t make one big gift, ask them to give a smaller monthly gift, but encourage them to give something. You’ll find that this will make fundraising fun for you and them, and you’ll raise more money.
This book has 10 important lessons, written in an easy, digestible way. It’s a quick and easy read. Give it to your board members. Give it to young fundraisers. Give it to your current fundraisers. Then start implementing what you learned, and you’ll raise more money, guaranteed!
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is author of the book "Monthly Giving. The Sleeping Giant." She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals.
She just co-authored the "Monthly Giving Starter and Marketing Kit" with Donor Perfect, and she’s working on her next book called "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving—in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and cat, Mientje.
You can reach Erica at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (508) 776-1224.