Book Review: ‘The Essence of Campaigning Fundraising’
When an international fundraising legend like Ken Burnett writes a book, I stand up and listen. And having met Ken personally at numerous international conferences, I’m proud to have a signed copy!
This new book, “The Essence of Campaigning Fundraising” was published by the White Lion Press in June. It includes a cool-looking USB drive that includes the 52 exhibits and 199 web links to which the book refers. Proceeds will go to SOFII, a wonderful resource with lots of international examples of fundraising campaigns from all over the world.
You may have heard me say that what works in one country can very well work in other countries, so it’s always worth testing. In my own personal international fundraising experience as a Dutch native who raised funds for an international organization active in six countries, it paid off nicely to look beyond our U.S. borders.
For example, English-speaking countries, like the U.K., Australia and Canada, have focused on small donors and monthly giving much longer than fundraisers here in the U.S. Because of the size of the country and the channels available, fundraising was also more often multi- or omni-channel.
Also, with the recent privacy concerns, fundraisers like Ken Burnett and Giles Pegram, were not afraid to tackle research like the Commission on the Donor Experience in 28 projects a few years ago. Ken gives you some highlights in his book, but if you have the time, I recommend checking out the study in even more depth. You might never look at donors the same.
Ken’s book keeps the examples coming and he has a teaching moment or a takeaway with every single one. If you love fundraising and want to get better at it (and who doesn’t want that?), you will get even more excited when you see all the great work other nonprofits have done that you and I can learn from.
I’m, of course, tickled pink that there’s a chapter devoted to monthly giving (or regular or committed giving as they call it in the U.K.). I quote from page 89 of his book:
Monthly giving remains the central proposition of most fundraising success stories today and will do going forward. Because it works, splendidly, for both donors and cause. But still, we can get better at it. Income from regular givers, already huge, has the potential to multiply many times if campaigning fundraisers can only get better at consistently providing delightful donor experiences that show the donor benefits too.
Fundraising is not easy. As a fundraiser, you’ll have your good days and your bad days. You’ll get yeses and noes. That’s why it’s important to every now and then read a book like “The Essence of Campaigning Fundraising” that brings back that important fundraising enthusiasm and pride you need to keep going. Because you are a changemaker, one child, one animal, one client, one recipient, one [fill in your beneficiary here], but also one donor at a time.
P.S. Ken is not just a writer. He’s going on a 500 mile walk to conquer the Camino de Santiago soon to help raise funds for SOFII so it can keep giving us this wonderful research and examples from which we can continue to learn. He’s a true campaigning fundraiser, every step of the way!
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. 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 authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "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 a cat, Mientje.