Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money

Written by
Amy Eisenstein
Added
October 29, 2015

Book review

Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money

By Andrea Kihlstedt and Andy Robinson

Presented at IWITOT, Baltimore and reviewed for SOFII by Amy Eisenstein ACFRE

I buy fundraising books. I’m always eager to learn more. I read most of them and keep them on the shelf as references.

I bought this book last year and it isn’t on the shelf. It lives on my desk and it’s dog-eared, highlighted and underlined.

Why do I refer to it so much? Because every time I get ready to facilitate a board retreat or lead a workshop, I thumb through it looking for just the right set of exercises.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve trained board members for years and I have a pretty good set of my own tried and true exercises, but this book is a treasure trove.

Yes, this is a book of fundraising exercises – 51 of them to be precise. Each is laid out like a recipe, telling you what it will accomplish, how to do it, what supplies (if any) you’ll need and how long it’ll take. It even includes wording for debrief questions in case you’re not an experienced facilitator.

Some exercises require worksheets and, of course, they’re in the book, just waiting for you to copy them.

The exercises are organised into eight sections:

  • Reducing barriers to fundraising
  • Debunking fundraising myths
  • Making the case
  • Building blocks for fundraising success
  • Finding people to ask
  • Asking for the gift
  • After the ask

Some of the exercises are short 15-minute ice-breakers. Others are longer and more substantial.

They’ve all been tested and, if my experience with many of the exercises is an indication, they all work.

When SOFII asked me to participate in I Wish I’d Thought Of That at the AFP convention in Baltimore I immediately thought of this book. I could have picked any number of exercises, but I picked on ‘How High Will You Go’, which gets board members thinking about their giving in new and bigger ways.

Whether you’re a master trainer or a development director who wants to do a little training with your staff and board, this book is perfect for you.

When people know how to raise money, they’re more willing to do it. And they do it better.

About the author: Amy Eisenstein

Amy Eisenstein

Amy Eisenstein, ACFRE, has been a development professional and fundraising consultant for more than 15 years. She has helped small and large nonprofits alike raise millions of dollars through major gift and capital campaigns, board development, annual fund campaigns, direct mail and planned gift solicitations.

Recent Articles

My first weeks as a fundraiser: where do I start?

We present ‘My first weeks as a fundraiser’: a new series to guide you through the start of your fundraising career. It’s a treasure trove linking to the best of what’s on SOFII and elsewhere when it comes to the basics and essentials: everything you need to get your feet under the table. 

Read more

What Donors Want - perhaps the most crucial podcast you’ll hear this month. Episode three.

We bring you the third episode of I.G. Advisors' superb podcast What Donors Want in which you can hear a fascinating interview with Adam Askew, head of funding partnerships for Comic Relief.

Read more

Rebels on the Liffey: a trip to Ask Direct’s Fundraising Summer School 2018

SOFII traveled to Dublin in July to report on one of the best fundraising conferences around: the Ask Direct Fundraising Summer School. Read on to discover part one of what we learned.

Read more

Inspired to Change the World? Consider these four careers

Welcome to the WoW! Toolbox. In our first contribution Sarah Daren shines a light on four professions that give people the chance to change the world on a daily basis. If you want to add to this list, please get in touch!

Read more

CDE project 6: The use and misuse of emotion. Section 5.5b: empathy-based design.

The use of empathy in design is crucial to achieving exceptional results in fundraising, as Adam Willis explores in this contribution to CDE project six.

Read more