THE EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE FUNDRAISING by Larry C. Johnson

THE EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE FUNDRAISING

Transforming Fundraising Anxiety into the Opportunity of a Lifetime

KIRKUS REVIEW

In his debut business title, Johnson outlines how nonprofit fundraisers can build on the basics. 

The nonprofit market is fertile ground for books that preach better ways to fundraise. Standing out in the crowd is no easy task, but Johnson’s book is distinguishable for its cleverly relevant focus on sustainability, a buzzword more often associated with environmental issues than fundraising. Johnson, a fundraiser with impressive credentials, argues that “few nonprofit organizations see their donors as investors” and proposes eight principles to develop “a dependable, renewable and even expandable stream of fundraising revenue.” While Johnson admits most experienced fundraisers will view these principles as common sense, he appropriately quotes Voltaire, who said, “Common sense is not so common.” Indeed, the eight principles reinforce the basics, but they are well-organized and well-stated. Principle 5, “Work from the Inside Out,” demonstrates the importance of leveraging a closely aligned group of supporters committed to the organization, then growing a “network of influence.” Johnson writes: “Think of it as building concentric circles of support for your organization, beginning with those who, by their current relationship to the organization, formally or informally, are the best informed and most committed.” Each principle includes “Practice Points,” which offer insightful questions that demand thoughtful answers. Especially useful is a technique Johnson employs that runs through all eight principles: He creates a fictional nonprofit organization and follows a linear storyline, detailing how the organization’s executive director and development director put each of the eight principles into practice. Johnson includes just enough information about the organization (its operating budget, fundraising revenue, and events schedule) to make the example credible. This real-world application of theory shows exactly how the book’s eight principles impact a fundraiser. The last of the eight principles includes a handy “Sustainable Fundraising Matrix” with a scoring system so managers can assess their organization’s fundraising effectiveness.

A straightforward, engaging book sure to be an important refresher that will keep nonprofits grounded in the fundamentals of fundraising.

Pub Date: Dec. 9th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1612060224
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Aloha Publishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2012




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