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on 14 February 2009
The Influential Fundraiser by Bernard Ross and Clare Segal is a must read for breakthrough fundraisers everywhere. As a Director of Fundraising with over 17 years fundraising experience in the voluntary sector it reminded me of what I tend to do often without thinking, but not always brilliantly. Why do people give when there's not much in it for them, and how do we make them give when it's all we want them to do? In a few hundred pages Bernard and Clare remind us what it's all about to be a brilliant fundraiser. Great fundraisers can read this book and be even better. Good fundraisers will start to understand what makes great fundraisers. In recent years there has been an awful tendency to place donors in pots and buckets and pretend they're all the same. This book reminds us we're all different yet we share similarities and understanding our donors at this time when resources can only be tighter and harder to find, has got to mean that knowing, understanding and loving your donors will be the only game in town. I enjoyed this read immensely. All too often fundraising books are like DIY books (how to fix your car in 5 minutes) full of technical and how-to stuff. They rarely make you think which is all well and good but if you've been there, done that, what more do you have to learn. This was a book that I learned lots from. It set me thinking and it will keep me thinking and I'm sure it will make me better at what I do. Read it, enjoy it, it's worth buying it. I only wish Bernard and Clare had told me alone and kept it a secret from the rest of you!

Mark Astarita Director Fundraising British Red Cross
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on 7 February 2009
This is one of the best books on influence I've read. It goes way beyond sales and fundraising techniques - it's about the whole package that, conciously or unconsciously, affects your chances of closing the big deal.

Without bypasssing the esentials, such as making sure you've got a water-tight and compelling case , the authors really make you think about the effect you personally have on donors. Unlike other books on influence which degenerate into psychobabble, Ross and Segal manage to ground their arguments in the real world and in real language.

I particularly liked the chapters on building self confidence and developing rapport with potential donors, reminding you of role model behaviours and suggesting practical actions for making that emotional link with your target. Whilst not always having the energy, willpower or time in real life to practice all the exercises, it has just about enough practical tips and gidances to make appplications realistic and manageable.

Subtle reasons for failure are at times painfully rehearsed but in and engaging and reassuring way. - we've all been there, believing we have the deal in the bag, only to be left deflated and esometimes even humiliated.But this book offers a toolkit for at least making sure the 9th 'No' is a rare experience (see chapter 11).

There's no doubt this book will be of most use to major donor and corporate fundraisers, but it could teach CEOs a thing or two about a leader's influence.
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on 19 February 2009
A truly inspirational book offering a systematic way to deal with donors and practical ideas for overcoming the ever increasing challenges of fundraising. It's packed with useful insights from psychology which I just can't wait to try out. I already feel more confident as a fundraiser. Superbly written. Pure genius.
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on 26 February 2009
To tell the truth, I didn't buy this book. My wife has it and I picked it up the other day to have a quick flick through. Next thing you know, I'd read it from front to back. Whether you're fundraising for your biggest donation yet or trying to get your boss to cough up a pay rise, this book walks you through the 5 P process to building your case and persuading others to do what you're asking. The scientific basis makes sense and I tried putting it into action at work last week - it really worked!
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on 9 March 2009
I found that unlike most management texts Ross and Segal's new book `The Influential Fundraiser', neither needs a MBA to work through nor is it just a `how-to' guide. It is written in straightforward language, with plenty of examples and illustrations. It focuses less on process and strategies and more on the behaviours you need to be successful. It recognises that fundraising, certainly when it is face-to-face is a people business, which is particularly evident in the sections on spoken language and perceptions. This felt like a new approach for fundraising texts, much more about how to do things than what to do, with a focus on how we communicate and understand messages. It has lots of content, lots of things to read and reflect on. Although you could read it through from the beginning, I have found it more useful to take a section at a time, read it through and try out one or two ideas on people before moving on to another bit. I would really recommend this book for fundraisers of all levels, including those who raise money as a volunteer, or in fact anyone who wants to get their case across.
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on 17 February 2009
The influential fundraiser brings a fresh and refreshing insight into how fundraisers can use their power of influence and learn how the donors and any other stake holders can be approached in a much more efficient way. I found really useful the concepts that have to do with psychology and multiple intelligences, as it not only can help a fundraiser in his or her work, but also helps any other person that is in contact with people and peers at work, as in fact we all need to "influence" other people at some point. I enjoyed reading this book and found it extremely useful regardless of the country you are working on, especially as it contains a wide range of cases of people and organisations of different sizes and causes. Don't miss it!
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on 16 May 2009
The Influential Fundraiser is perhaps the most important book about fundraising to appear in the past decade. The shame is that most of the fundraisers who really need to learn the lessons it holds won't get round to reading it because, well, because still today, even in recession times, most fundraisers simply don't do the homework that they should. For those that do, Clare Segal and Bernard Ross have delivered a cornucopia of useful insights and instructive anecdotes that will give them the edge over the rest.

The brick story alone (page 67) makes this book worth buying, so you can consider all the stimulating anecdotes and new ideas that you'll find on other pages as an added bonus.

That said, even for those fundraisers and not-for-profit managers who do their homework, I don't think this book will grace many of their bookshelves. This is solely because its readers will want to keep it close by them, on their desk or in their briefcase or wherever they can most easily get to it, when they need it.

Ken Burnett
Relationship Fundraising: A Donor-based Approach to the Business of Raising Money (Jossey-Bass Nonprofit and Public Management Series)
The Zen of Fundraising: 89 Timeless Ideas to Strengthen and Develop Your Donor Relationships
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on 28 February 2009
I am a CEO of an international development organisation, facing these uncertain times with some trepidation. With the fall in sterling, every pound of income we receive buys less, so it is more important than ever that we can maintain our income. At the moment, competition is more fierce than it has ever been, as all charities are facing an uphill battle and potential supporters are feeling more insecure and perhaps less able to give.

This book is therefore timely. The best thing about it is that it is very different - there ia a myriad of books on fundraising, but I don't recall any which look at the psychological aspects in this way. It is also fun to read - the style is often humourous and always insightful. There are interesting case studies too.

The age old wisdom in fundraising is 'people give to people', but this book will help give you the edge and ensure you are the person that people want to give to, even in these difficult times, and even if they don't quite know why it is you who has persuaded them!
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on 26 April 2013
I was extremely fortunate to attend a `Making Your Case' workshop delivered by Bernard Ross. The workshop was so not what I expected. As part of this workshop I won a copy of The Influential Fundraiser by Ross and Segal.
For me it was a timely wake up call, both Ross and the book reminded me of two things:
1) I was spending too much time being too passionate about my Social Enterprise rather than' standing in other peoples' shoes'.
2) How powerful what Ross and Segal call the `Psychology of Persuasion' is, when applied in the context of fund or awareness raising. (The very next day I won four volunteers for a research project by applying a couple of Ross' techniques.) It's not always what we think others `should hear' that counts but rather what will drive them to give, be that time or money.
The book is clear and easy to follow - so fundraisers (or awareness raisers) use the methods given in the book, they will work. You will avoid many of the problems and pitfalls you have been experiencing. You'll be able to adapt your language to meet the needs of potential fund givers and stand in their shoes to enable them to appreciate why you deserve what they have to offer. You might like to consider cutting down some other options you offer and following the plans and procedures the book offers, whilst retaining these options in your mind to be aware that although you may have an ideal sum in your mind, you will be willing to accept less.
I could continue to wax lyrical about the book but I need to put it into practice again. The book and the way it is written in approachable layman or woman's style will get you to be the influential fundraiser you want to be whether you use a brick or written plan, go read and use The Influential Fundraiser.
It's also one of the best introductions to NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming also at times know as the Psychology of Persuasion) I've seen in a long while, if only to persuade yourself that you have the skills you need to be influential.
No More Bingo Dresses: Using NLP to cope with breast cancer and other people
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on 6 November 2009
This book should have beeen available when I started fundraising many years aago. it is probably the most enlightening book I have read on this subject. It has become part of my small selection of books to which I most often refer.

It is written in a clear and succinct manner and should be standard text in any teaching situation, in fundraising.

I have no hesitation in recomending it to others.

The Influential Fundraiser: Using the Psychology of Persuasion to Achieve Outstanding Results
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