Fundraising Books

Fundraising Books

All the latest fundraising books
And guides to fundraising

There is no shortage of books and guides for fundraisers. They come in all sizes and formats.

Some go for the quirky happy-go-lucky approach. Others are far more business focused and serious.

Some guides are all about the practicalities and processes of running a fundraiser or annual programme. Many however are a simple list of fundraising ideas intended to provide a starting point for your own great fundraisers.

There are also lots of books advising you how to make winning grant applications and a number of really good books about writing great fundraising letters.

Please note - We do not recommend or advertise any book which we do not feel best serves the needs of our visitors.

Authors - If you would like us to review your book on fundraising or charity work please get in touch via our contact page.

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Fun Ways To Fundraise

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A guide to
Fun Ways To Fundraise
For your community, church or charity
Penny Hallett

This is a great book aimed firmly at amateur fundraisers. If you are looking for fundraising ideas for any local charity group this is a great place to find inspiration

This great book by Penny Hallett is the perfect guide to fundraising for all sorts of charity groups. The book is beautifully written and very clear and easy to understand. Whatever you are fundraising for you will find ideas and inspiration here. The book begins with a handy 12 steps to successful fundraising  which provide a great set of background checks for anyone planning a fundraising event. It then goes on to list out a whole range of ideas, with just enough information to set your own creative juices flowing, all set out in well thought out sections. There are also some very useful and easily understandable explanations of how to keep things legal and safe. These are from a UK perspective but the basic ideas would be applicable anywhere.

Verdict - This book is a beautifully clear guide to amateur fundraising. Highly recommended.

250 Fundraising Ideas

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250 + Fundraising ideas for your charity, society, school and PTA
Paige Robinson

This book is stuffed full of fundraising ideas (well 250 actually). Its simple, easy to read and nicely laid out. None of the ideas would cost much, if anything at all, other than a bit of time and a sense of fun. A perfect book of ideas for both newbies and old hands looking for fresh inspiration.

This is a great book for amateur fundraisers. Aimed mostly at parents who find themselves on the school PTA or others who might be wondering how on earth they might raise funds for their local charity group. The book covers all the usual fundraising favourites such as sponsorship, raffles, collections etc. It also lists all the common games, stalls and activities for fundraising fetes and fairs. It has a good section on fundraising events which suggests lots of inspiring themes, ideas and activities. This book also provides a handy calendar of awareness days, national days and dates in history which might be perfect for injecting a bit of zip into a tired old annual fundraiser.

Verdict - One of the best fundraising books for amateur fundraisers. Highly recommended

complete Guide To Fundraising

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The Complete Guide To Fundraising - P.W & P.F Sterrett

This book is all about fundraising events It lists lots of ideas for simple events that could be easily staged by even modest fundraising groups. It also has lots of ideas for games, stalls and activities suitable for fetes, fairs and special days.

After reading this book it was stuffed full of post-it-note bookmarks so there is definitely plenty in here even for experienced fundraisers! The style is simple and straight-forward and there are lots of diagrams for the fundraising games and activities. If you were planning a fete or fundraising fair you would certainly find some good ideas in here as well as inspiring you to come up with variations or similar activities that would work for your group or with the resources you have available to you. There are lots of different competitions listed - some for individuals some for teams that would make great features at a Summer Fete. The book also has plenty of advice about planning and avoiding common mistakes. My only criticism of this book is that it has a really useful chapter detailing real life examples of things that can go wrong. This is important and a useful checklist for any fundraiser. Unfortunately it comes as chapter 2 which is a bit of a downer near the start of the book! Other than that a really useful guide for anyone looking for fete ideas.

Verdict Excellent for fundraising events and fete ideas

Fundraising For Dummies

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Fundraising For Dummies -
John Mutz and Katherine Murray

Despite its title this is not really a book for the casual amateur fundraiser looking for ideas to raise some money for the local dogs home or PTA. It does however contain useful information for organisations wishing to build a strong base of supportive donors.

This book is aimed primarily at those working with slightly larger non-profit groups and is mostly about planning a wider fundraising programme involving building up a donor base for your organisation. Essentially it is a business manual for charities wishing to market themselves to potential donors. This book goes into a lot of detail about how to identify and approach potential donors and then how to maximise their involvement. If that is what you are after then this could be the book for you. The Dummies series of books are like Marmite you either love or hate them. Some find their quirky and irreverent humour refreshing. Others find their desperate desire to be liked annoying.This fundraising book's layout is good with plenty of side boxes and bullet points that keep things quite clear. On reading it I did find myself bookmarking certain pages to come back to so it must have a certain something.

Verdict - A good reference for larger groups or fundraising managers (amateur or professional).

FUNdraising 50 proven Strategies

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FUNdraising - 50 proven strategies for successful school fundraisers - Frank Sennett

A school fundraising book that is full of real life examples of interesting fundraisers from US schools. The book is well written and has a really nice sense of style and fun about it. It zips along and, if nothing else, will show you that anything is possible!

This is one of those great fundraising books that is written with warmth and infectious enthusiasm. In many ways that is Frank Sennett's point. With enough enthusiasm and a sense of fun anything is possible!

Part 1 of the book starts by setting the scene, making some general points and observations about fundraising. It explores in a non judgemental way the ethics of fundraising; showing that getting the background right is a pre-requisite to successful fundraisers.

Part 2 contains 50 great fundraising events many involving case studies from actual schools. Some of the events are on a slightly bigger scale but many are not, and would not be beyond the capabilities of any average secondary school and many primaries. Within many of the main ideas are also several little "idea nuggets" that could be used independently or at other events. If nothing else you will come away buzzing with enthusiasm and get some good ideas for your annual fete - guaranteed.

Verdict - Brilliant for larger PTA / PTO groups

Teach Yourself Fundraising

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Teach Yourself Fundraising - Jenny Barlow

This book concentrates on understanding what is unique about your organisation and how to communicate that to others. It looks at your charity group or organisation as if it were a product and shows you how to build and market its unique selling points.

This book is really all about telling, and ultimately selling, the story of your organisation. It shows how to understand your group from the ground up and what makes it special. It then looks at how you can communicate that to others, and how to plan a strategy to do so effectively. Importantly it encourages fundraisers to see themselves as others might see them.

The book also considers the motivations of corporate donors and grant making bodies and explains a bit about the way they operate.

Some of the ideas might seem a bit basic but actually it is very common for members of fundraising groups to all have very different ideas about what they are about and what they should do. This book shows that a clear mission and a bit of strategy can ensure that everyone is singing from the same sheet. This book mostly is focused on the UK but there is plenty here for those in other countries to find useful.

Verdict - This would be a really useful book for any groups needing help with publicity, attracting local corporate donors or making small grant applications.

Words That Sell
Phrases that sell

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Words That Sell - The thesaurus to help you promote your products, services and ideas- Richard Bayan


Phrases That Sell - The ultimate phrase finder to help you promote your products, services and ideas - Edward Werz and Sally Germain

Fundraising is all about telling a good story and engaging people. These 2 books are the simplest but best introduction to writing ever. If you need to write brochures, grant applications, donor letters, requests for raffle prizes or simply posters advertising your sponsored head shave, these are all you need.

I have to confess to a little bias here. These books were recommended to me whilst still at university and have been with me ever since. I have regularly used them to help write copy for all sorts of fundraising promotional literature and also in life generally. They are really about marketing products or companies but the ideas are just as applicable to any fundraising venture or non-profit organisation. From writing your mission statement, developing slogans or coming up with small snappy headlines these books have it all. As well as simple but sound advice about writing good copy they are full of ideas, words and expressions and.... weird as it may sound are actually fun to use. I guarantee they will help you work out exactly what it was you were trying to say!

Verdict - Highly recommended.

Tried and Tested ideas for Local Fundraising Events

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Tried And Tested Ideas For Local Fundraising Events (3rd edition) -Sarah Passingham

This is another great book for anyone wishing to organise fundraising events. As well as lots of ideas for events and activities it also contains great information on planning them, publicising them and ensuring they run well and safely.

The book is aimed at amateurs and is perfect for school PTA's, faith groups and smaller charities. It does however show you how to plan things out and do things properly. For anyone stuck for inspiration there are "26 good ideas that work" combining ideas for major events any of which could be run by pretty much any small group with some quick and easy fundraisers. Amongst these is also a particularly useful section listing and explaining all the usual stalls and fundraisers found at fundraising fetes and fairs. The event ideas all start with an easy breakdown so you can see at a glance what is involved and whether something might work for your group. The sections on management, publicity, safety and other general information are all clear and easy to understand and provide a good overview and useful checklist for fundraising teams. The book is published by the UK Charity organisation Directory of Social Change. Only a few small parts however are UK specific and although the book was first published some years ago there is plenty in here for amateur fundraisers anywhere in the world.

Verdict - Another great book written by someone who knows what works and can explain it to others

Funds to the Rescue: 101 Fundraising Ideas for Humane and Animal Rescue Groups

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Funds to the Rescue: 101 Fundraising Ideas for Humane and Animal Rescue Groups - Susan Daffron

A great book for anyone interested in raising money for any type of animal charity. This book is full of no nonsense practical advice with a clear focus on animal shelters and animal protection organisations.

The book starts out with lots of practical advice about how to promote and market your group and how to get publicity for both your cause and fundraising events. It then lists out its promised 101 fundraising ideas many of which have an animal theme such as Bow Wow Beauties and Cat Walk. It also outlines some of the more common fundraising ideas and is packed full of information that any group will find useful.

Verdict - If animals are your thing then this is the book for you

Winning The Story Wars Jonah Sachs

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Winning The Story Wars
Jonah Sachs

A unique book that focuses on how we communicate, how we use myths and archetypes to understand and explain our experience (and have done throughout our history) and why telling great stories about our organisations and causes, particularly in an age of social media, is vital if we are to attract attention and support.

Please be clear this is not a book about fundraising or fundraiser ideas. Jonah Sachs is an activist and film-maker. However for anyone (whatever their politics) interested in the bigger picture around how we communicate ideas this book is first rate. Basically Sachs explains how the stories and mythic heroes with which we have always surrounded ourselves can provide us with clearer ideas about why some causes can attract support, whilst others languish on the sidelines. The best stories are based on timeless themes, constantly used by those who know how to market products, brands and causes. This book helps you understand how you can do so too. One of the most interesting books we have read in a long time.

Verdict - A wonderfully insightful and interesting book for anyone interested in communication. This book is a must for grant writers, charity marketeers and non-profit professionals.

One to avoid

Fundraising For Schools Pocketbook - Brin Best and Ken Dunn

This book bills itself as - "a pocketful of tips, tools and techniques for increasing income and bolstering budgets"- Ok it is always intended to be a quick little pocket size book however there is very little here that's of real practical use

This book talks a lot about strategy, vision, engaging volunteers but due to its pocketbook size actually tells you very little. Throughout the book it is never quite clear who is being addressed - school staff or parents. Most of the ideas are presented as simple bullet points puffed out to make them more important than they actually are. At the end are 71 one or two line fundraising ideas, but nothing that you couldn't come up with in 1/2 an hours brainstorming. This book is more about filling a place in a series - Teachers Pocketbooks than of being much help to fundraisers.

Verdict - Save your money

More reviews of fundraising books will be posted soon

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