It’s August. If you’re like many nonprofit leaders, this is the month of the last minute scramble to get out of the office and grab some vacation. As you’re looking to go, consider taking a book with you. And since you’re a nonprofit leader, I’d suggest you make that book one on fundraising. Here are a few lists to consider.

  • A list of 20 top books selected by
  • A list of 5 surprising books first posted on this blog in 2013
  • And a list of 44 books being built over on Goodreads

Before you head out of the office, skim these lists and see if one of the titles pops out to you!

Top 20 Fundraising Books

Top Fundraising Books - A summer reading list
The folks over at are great at analyzing data and putting together lists. That’s how they created the Top 20 Fundraising Books – they mixed Amazon sales data with voting from top influencers. And this is what they crowned as the top 20:

  1. Making Money with Donor Newsletters by Tom Ahern
  2. Relationship Fundraising by Ken Burnett
  3. Asking Styles by Andrea Kihlstedt
  4. Fundraising Guide to Irresistible Communications by Jeff Brooks
  5. Fired-Up Fundraising by Gail Perry
  6. The Essential Fundraising Handbook for Small Nonprofits by Kirsten Bullock, Betsy Baker, Gayle L. Gifford, Pamela Grow, Lori L. Jacobwith, Marc A. Pitman, Sandy Rees, Sherry Truhlar
  7. Keep Your Donors by Tom Ahern and Simone P. Joyaux
  8. Building Donor Loyalty by Adrian Sargeant and Elaine Jay
  9. Asking by Jerold Panas
  10. Retention Fundraising by Roger Craver
  11. How to Write Fundraising Materials That Raise More Money by Tom Ahern
  12. Fundraising Principles and Practice by Adrian Sargeant, Jen Shang
  13. It’s Not Just About The Money by Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels
  14. Major Gift Fundraising for Small Shops by Amy Eisenstein
  15. Train Your Board and Everyone Else to Raise Money by Andrea Kihlstedt and Andy Robinson
  16. How to Raise More Money for Any Non-Profit by Joe Garecht
  17. Donor-Centered Leadership by Penelope Burk
  18. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  19. Ask Without Fear! by Marc A. Pitman
  20. Fundraising Mistakes that Bedevil All Boards (And Staff Too) by Kay Sprinkel Grace

Click through to the Top 20 Fundraising Books list to see the covers and links to get them on Amazon.

Some Surprising Fundraising Books for Your Summer Reading List

5 Surprising Fundraising BooksA couple years ago, I put together a list of 5 surprising books that will help your fundraising. These books are:

  1. Asking Styles by Andrea Kihlstedt
  2. Go for No! by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz
  3. The Art of Persuasion by Bob Burg
  4. First Things First by Roger Merrill, Rebecca Merrill, and Steven Covey
  5. Ask Without Fear! by Marc A. Pitman (of course!)

You can read more about why these books were listed at 5 Surprising Fundraising Books for Your Summer Reading.

Fundraising Books I’ve Read More Than Once

Goodreads list of the best fundraising booksI read 50-75 books a year. But this spring, I tried creating a list of books that have helped me as a fundraiser and that I’ve read more than once. Given my volume of reading, this 44 book list is remarkably short.

  1. The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications: Real-World, Field-Tested Strategies for Raising More Money by Jeff Brooks
  2. Keep Your Donors: The Guide to Better Communications & Stronger Relationships by Tom Ahern
  3. It’s NOT JUST about the Money by Jeff Schreifels
  4. A Spirituality Of Fund Raising by Henri J.M. Nouwen
  5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
  6. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  7. Retention Fundraising: The New Art and Science of Keeping Your Donors for Life by Roger Craver
  8. God & Mammon: Asking for Money in the New Testament by Jouette M. Bassler
  9. Favor the Road to Success by Bob Buess
  10. Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
  11. The Fourth Turning by William Strauss
  12. Epic: The Story God Is Telling and the Role That Is Yours to Play by John Eldredge
  13. Asking: A 59-Minute Guide to Everything Board Members, Volunteers and Staff Must Know to Secure the Gift by Jerold Panas
  14. Get Slightly Famous: Become a Celebrity in Your Field and Attract More Business with Less Effort by Steven Van Yoder
  15. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  16. The Pollyanna Principles: Reinventing “Nonprofit Organizations” to Create the Future of Our World by Hildy Gottlieb
  17. Life is Tremendous by Charlie Jones
  18. Godly Materialism: Rethinking Money and Possessions by John R. Schneider
  19. Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar
  20. Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell
  21. How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger
  22. Personality Plus: How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself by Florence Littauer
  23. How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing with People by Les Giblin
  24. The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life by Bruce H. Wilkinson
  25. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
  26. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
  27. The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman
  28. Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
  29. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham
  30. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin
  31. Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher
  32. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers by Seth Godin
  33. Story Proof: The Science Behind the Startling Power of Story by Kendall Haven
  34. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  35. Called to Serve: Creating and Nurturing the Effective Volunteer Board by Max DePree
  36. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  37. Viral Loop by Adam L. Penenberg
  38. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
  39. Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money-That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki
  40. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  41. The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
  42. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
  43. Ask Without Fear!: A Simple Guide to Connecting Donors With What Matters to Them Most by Marc A. Pitman (Goodreads Author)
  44. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

You can see this list on Goodreads, and add to it yourself. It’s at:

That’s 62 Books!

Vintage POP corn

Photon cropped from an orginal by Aloha75 on Flickr. Used with permission.

So there you have it. Three lists of books. With only 7 being repeated across the lists, that makes a total of 62 books to help your nonprofit fundraising. Refreshingly, not every book deals with fundraising directly.

Which book popped out at you?

As we saw in The Crisis in Nonprofit Leadership, many nonprofit leaders simply don’t know much about nonprofit fundraising. Use this month to get one book smarter.

Which book will you choose?

21 Ways for Board Members to Engage with their Nonprofit's Fundraising book image

You'll discover the 21 ways each board member can help their nonprofit's fundraising - even if they don't like to ask for money!

As a bonus, you'll get free fundraising tips every other week too!

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