One of the joys of being a speaker and executive coach is that people send me their books. I have such a long reading list, that I usually take a l-o-n-g time reading the ones that are sent to me.
I'm glad I didn't wait to read Jim Eskin's. (It definitely helped that he sent me the physical book. It's been sitting here on my desk, reminding me of its presence. There's a big fundraising lesson in there for any of you who think you can raise funds 100% online!)
The book "10 Simple Fundraising Lessons"
Jim's book distills a long experience of successful fundraising and a commitment to life-long learning. Not only has he done what he's talking about, nearly every chapter quotes someone he's learned from - but fundraisers and philanthropist.
This slim book is easy to skim because it is full of pithy comments like:
It's astounding how much a solicitation can be postponed while waiting for the so-called perfect moment and circumstances. There's never a perfect time. (p. 45)
Each chapter focuses on one aspect of fundraising. And each chapter ends with actions you can use to actually do what you've read about.
The chapters are brief enough to read one a week, one a day, at the beginning of each board meeting. If you're a quick reader, you could even read this in an hour.
But you'll want to keep it handy so you can keep coming back.
10 Simple Fundraising Lessons Chapters
The table of contents of Jim's book is:
- Fundraisers are Made, Not Born
- Lesson #1: Nurture Relationships
- Lesson #2: More Contact = More Money
- Lesson #3: Listen Your Way to the Gift
- Lesson #4: Tell a Good Story
- Lesson #5: You Have to Ask
- Lesson #6: Gifts from Individuals Rule
- Lesson #7: Give a Number
- Lesson #8: Thank 7X
- Lesson #9: FUNdraising is Fun!
- Lesson #10: The Giving Starts Here
- Fundraising Occurs at the Speed of Trust
- Going from Fear to Funded
Don't just read the outline and think you get the gist of the book. I've been asking for gifts and training people in fundraising for over 20 years and even I picked up something in the first chapter that I may use to tweak my own training materials!
You Need To Keep Learning
To be a successful leader, you need to keep learning. That goes for fundraising too. Whether you get paid to ask people for money or you're a volunteer asking, it's important to keep revisiting the basics.
And you'd be well served including "10 Simple Fundraising Lessons" in your ongoing education.
Disclosure note: I did receive a complimentary copy of the book but I receive no compensation - nor even a request - for a review.