Book, film and video reviews

Just the best books, films and videos, summarised, reviewed and recommended one by one by your peers, to help you to have a bookshelf that you can rely on, that contains only the best published works on fundraising to be found anywhere. Fundraisers will find here reviews of the cream of fundraising’s best books.

Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success

by Dan Hill

‘The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter’, said the Roman philosopher Cicero. It is so much more eloquent than ‘facial coding’. Yet this core of Dan Hill’s Emotionomics could be extremely important to your fundraising. 

Reviewed for SOFII by Charlie Hulme.

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The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications

by Jeff Brooks

It’s a virtual truism that each generation of copywriters and fundraisers must fight the same battles over and over again. Boards, CEOs, fundraisers change, but the DNA ain’t improving. Now the cavalry has arrived. Enter Jeff Brooks and his new book. At a time when too many pay lip service to becoming ‘donor-centric’ but fail to put it into practice, Jeff gives us the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of creating copy that puts the donor first and foremost.

Reviewed for SOFII by Roger Craver.

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Could this be the sea change that fundraising really needs?

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by Penelope Burk

Game-changing books don’t come along often, so this could be the most important book about fundraising that you’ll buy in what, as Penelope Burk comprehensively illustrates, is likely to be your all-too-short and under-fulfilled career.

Reviewed for SOFII by Ken Burnett.

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How you can become your organisation’s competitive edge

by Bernard Ross & Clare Segal

When I heard about the idea of using psychology to raise more money I couldn’t imagine how that would fit into my previous learning about the pyramids, loops and ladders that are so familiar to many of us fundraisers. The fact is – it doesn’t….

Reviewed for SOFII by Kimberley MacKenzie.

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Setting out and summarising the every-day business of excellence

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by ​Henry A. (Hank) Rosso

If you have not read Rosso and his associates’ work, I thoroughly recommend this compendium of 500-plus pages. In it we find the analytical models of the ‘donor pyramid’, the ‘campaign planning cycle’, the ‘concentric circles... and a coherent expression of a philosophy.

Reviewed for SOFII by Roewen Wishart.

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Secrets of a great funding proposal

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by Cheryl A Clarke

The foreword to this short and readable book summarises its value well, ‘For reluctant writers who need warm-up exercises and structured lessons…and for seasoned grant writers who get caught up in the jargon of our fields’…

Reviewed for SOFII by Roewen Wishart.

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The essence of fundraising practice from the world’s most famous fundraising academic

by Adrian Sargeant

‘A comprehensive selection of knowledge that is both readable and well structured’. Be sure to let us know if you agree.

Reviewed for SOFII by Roewen Wishart. 

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All you need to be a complete fundraiser

by Steve Harrison

Howard Luck Gossage reinvented advertising to change the world. He created a revolutionary approach to combining press and PR, kick-started the Green movement, coined the term ‘interactive’, influenced and continues to influence advertisers and communicators the world over. In so doing he became ‘the complete fundraiser’. If you know less about HLG than maybe you should, start reading here.

Reviewed for SOFII by Ken Burnett.

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Asking Properly: the art of creative fundraising

Asking properly cover

by George Smith

Charlie Hulme asks you to use the quotes in his review of George Smith’s seminal work Asking Properly: the Art of Creative Writing as a mirror. If you despair at times, don’t worry; if you see where you’re going wrong Asking Properly will put it right.

Reviewed for SOFII by Charlie Hulme.

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Something to Tweet About: creating great content for social media

by Carlos Miranda & Alissa Steinner

Finally the report that changed someone who was, at best, lukewarm about social media to an almost fan: Something to Tweet About. You will learn how to gather those yearned-for ‘likes’ and maybe turn them into gold.

Reviewed for SOFII by Marie Burnett.

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Major contributors to this section

Ken Burnett

Ken Burnett is author of Relationship Fundraising and other books including The Tiny Essentials of an Effective Volunteer Board (The White Lion Press Limited, London, UK) and The Zen of Fundraising, (Jossey-Bass Inc, San Francisco, USA). His latest – and in his view, most important – book is Storytelling can change the world, just published by The White Lion Press.

Ken is also SOFII's managing trustee.

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Marie Burnett

Marie Burnett is director of The White Lion Press and a trustee of SOFII.

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Charlie Hulme

Charlie Hulme is managing director of DonorVoice. He helps charities uncover what, of all the things they do, improves the strength of relationships  and what is harmful. Partners see a massive improvement in performance, value and retention.

Voted top speaker at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention in 2013, he writes frequently for SOFII, 101fundraising, the Institute of Fundraising and many others.

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