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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!