Books on Fundraising

ETA is a firm believer in building income through programming, products and services, however here are a few good books to help you with your fundraising efforts.

Ask (The): How to Ask Anyone for Any Amount for Any Purpose – Laura Fredricks

ask-how-anyone-for-any-amount-laura-fredricks-hardcover-cover-art The Ask: How to Ask Anyone for Any Amount for Any Purpose
This book is a complete resource for teaching anyone—experienced in fundraising or not—how to ask individuals, in person, for a contribution to a local nonprofit or a special event or community project, an enhanced annual gift, a major or planned gift, or a challenging capital campaign gift. Written by fundraising expert Laura Fredricks, The Ask shows what it takes to prepare yourself and others to make an effective ask and includes over one hundred sample dialogues you can use and adapt. Step by step, the book reveals how to listen, what to say, and how to follow up on each and every ask until you receive a solid and definitive answer. In addition, The Ask covers such topics as how to

  • Examine your views on money before making an ask
  • Learn the ins and outs of asking for money
  • Work with others to make an ask
  • Determine if you should or should not ask a friend, colleague, or peer for money
  • Figure out how many asks you can do given your time constraints
  • Deal effectively with all the responses you will get to an ask

This book is available from Amazon.

ORGANIZATION: Laura Fredricks, LLC


Address, City, State, Zip Code:  130 Barrow Street, #215, New York, NY 10014
Phone Number: 212-929-9120       Fax Number:
Email Address:
Laura Fredricks, LLC, is a boutique consulting company that provides hands-on expert fundraising and best practices to a select number of non-profit organizations, to raise significant money, efficiently and effectively from a variety of existing and new sources.  Laura is a motivational speaker and best-selling author. For the past 14 years, Laura has been teaching nonprofit business management; leadership; fundraising trends; annual, major gift, planned giving, special events; and capital campaign courses on a certification and master’s degree level for University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, New York University, Duke University, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Her speaking engagements include yearly presentations at the Association of Fundraising Professional’s (AFP) International Conference; seven International Web Conferences for AFP; keynote speaking presentations for numerous AFP Chapters nationwide; the Council for Support for Advancement and Education and Planned Giving Councils.

She is a journalism graduate of Rutgers College, New Brunswick, NJ, and holds a law degree from Western New England College School of Law. Prior to her fundraising career, she clerked for an appellate court judge in Pennsylvania, and practiced law for over six years.


Breakthrough Fundraising Letters – Alan Sharpe

414dw5RyktLBreakthrough Fundraising Letters
Your fundraising letters need to be different or you’re dead. In no area of their lives do generous, faithful donors settle for vanilla. They don’t watch TV reruns all day. They don’t read yesterday’s news. They don’t return to websites that are updated monthly. Today’s direct mail donors demand variety. Fail to give them variety and they will fail to give.

The competition for your donor’s attention has never been greater. Blame it on Survivor and American Idol. Blame it on cell phones, iPods, Blackberries, digital TV, satellite radio, junk mail, spam and telemarketers. Blame it on the thousands of other charities competing for your donor’s loyalty.  But don’t blame your donor. Your donor, like everyone else, will only read fundraising letters that are, in a word, breakthrough. And breakthrough fundraising letters are different.

Breakthrough Fundraising Letters teaches you the proven techniques that professional direct mail fundraising copywriter Alan Sharpe uses to craft breakthrough letters for his clients. You’ll learn the mistakes to avoid, the best practices to implement right now, and the tips, techniques and shortcuts that you can use for years to come.  This book is available from the website listed below.



Address, City, State, Zip Code:  1 Herlan Avenue, Kitchener, Ontario N2G 2C4 Canada
Email Address:
Alan is the Director of Direct Development with The Gideons International In Canada, where he manages their direct mail, major gifts, planned giving and tribute card programs.

As an author, trainer and speaker, Alan helps directors of development and annual giving officers to craft engaging, warm appeal letters that win the hearts and minds of their donors. Alan’s popular email newsletter about fundraising, “Sharpe Tips,” is read weekly by professional fundraisers worldwide. Alan is also a contributing editor to Canadian FundRaiser.

Alan served as Director of Development and Communications for two international non-profits, where he was responsible for strategic planning, annual direct mail fundraising campaigns, major giving, planned giving, major events, publicity and other enjoyable headaches. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada with his wife and two sons.


Yours for the Asking: An Indispensable Guide to Fundraising and Management – Reynold Levy

9780470505533_p0_v1_s260x420Yours for the Asking: An Indispensable Guide to Fundraising and Management
Drawing on his experience in raising over one billion dollars in six years as President of Lincoln Center, Reynold Levy has written the ultimate insider’s guide to asking for and receiving funds. Rich with insights and invaluable advice from Levy’s own lessons learned, this powerful book is for you, whether your organization is concerned with health, education, the arts, or humanitarian causes, a think tank or advocacy group, established or fledgling. Insightful, creative, and humorous, Yours for the Asking draws back the curtain to disclose Levy’s secrets of success and reveals how you can:

  • Tap into the resources of donors, large and small, for your institution or cause
  • Reach wealthy people and successfully bring home the bacon
  • Put aside fears, qualms, and hesitancies and confidently ask for funds
  • Locate the intersection between the interests of business and the needs of your nonprofit organization
  • Solve the mystery of fundraising from foundations
  • Explore your organization’s future in fundraising and discern its long-term trends
  • Learn the best ways to combat the adverse impact of a wide, deep, and prolonged recession

Yours for the Asking will transform your view of fundraising from a dreaded aspect of your job to a high calling, from “pleading” for money to helping donors find pleasure in advancing social causes and strengthening key nonprofit institutions. Affluence and generosity abound. It’s all yours-for the asking.  This book is available from Amazon.



Email Address:
Reynold Levy is the President of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., the oldest and largest institution of its kind in the world.  In a distinguished career of public service, he has served as President of the International Rescue Committee, the founder and architect of the AT&T Foundation, the Executive Director of the 92nd Street Y and the Staff Director of the Task Force on the New York City Fiscal Crisis.  Reynold is a graduate of Hobart College, holds a law degree from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.  He has served as a consultant and board member to dozens of nonprofit organizations and is the author of a number of books.  His most recent of many teaching affiliations has been as Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School.


Zen of Fundraising (The): 89 Timeless Ideas to Strengthen and Develop Your Donor Relationships Ken Burnett

9781118047088_p0_v2_s260x420The Zen of Fundraising: 89 Timeless Ideas to Strengthen and Develop Your Donor Relationships
If all that has ever been said and written about the art and science of fundraising could be distilled down to just what really matters-what fundraisers everywhere need to know-there would be only a small number of true gems deserving of the description, “nuggets of information.”

Leading international fundraiser Ken Burnett, author of the classic Relationship Fundraising, has identified and defined 89 such nuggets which he presents here as The Zen of Fundraising, a fun read, one-of-a-kind look into what makes donors tick and-more importantly-what makes them give.

To achieve their true potential,  fundraisers have to really understand their donors and their causes, to communicate more effectively, to engage, involve and inspire their donors more consistently, to be extraordinarily good to do business with, to play smart and keep themselves and their colleagues motivated as they do it. In short, fundraisers have to ensure their thinking is right so they can get all their important messages spot on, appreciated, remembered and acted upon. This book will show fundraisers how to do all that and enjoy their work too, while they make the world a better place.   This book is available from the website listed below.




Email Address:
Ken Burnett is an author, lecturer and consultant on fundraising, marketing and communications for nonprofit organisations worldwide. In the early 1980s he founded the influential Burnett Associates agency, the first company of its type in Europe. Burnett Associates produced some of the most original, donor-focused and effective communications campaigns to be found anywhere.

Ken has served on several non-profit boards. He recently stepped down after completing 13 years (with a one year break) as trustee of the international anti-poverty NGO ActionAid, ultimately as an independent trustee of ActionAid International, of which he is a founding board member. Ken was chairman of ActionAid from 1998 to 2003, is a former vice chair of The UK’s Institute of Fundraising and is a former trustee of BookAid International and the International Fund Raising Group (now The Resource Alliance). Ken is a fellow of the Institute of Fundraising and an honorary fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing.


About Lisa Canning

“Vowels are to words what creativity is to the world~ basic and necessary.”

What motivates you to explore your creativity? Follow me @EntretheArts.

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Need a magic creativity wand? Let’s start with the clarinet and see what it inspires you to dream and do.

Lisa Canning is the founder of Lisa’s Clarinet Shop, IAEOU, the Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship (IAE) and Entrepreneur the Arts.




Books on Fundraising

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