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.

David Ogilvy: A profile of the ‘father of advertising’

by Christiana Stergiou

While the thought of another ‘must read’ book for fundraisers might overwhelm, you really should read this book, especially if you want to hire, or are currently working with an agency, want to apply for a job, have to write copy or are using …

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How to really understand fundraising’s reigning big idea, direct mail

by Mal Warwick

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’…

Review by Jan Chisholm. 

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Philanthropy in a flat world, inspiration through globalization

by Jon Duschinsky

Here Clare McDowall, explains why this book changed her outlook and attitude to fundraising. Following Jon’s advice, she recommends throwing out the rule book and making the most of the huge opportunities (and challenges) that are facing the nonprofit sector today.

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Ask Without Fear: A simple guide to connecting donors with what matters to them most

by Marc Pitman

‘Simple but profound’ is how Joanne Fritz describes this book. She concludes that the author, Marc A Pitman has skilfully de-mystified major giving using entertaining and humorous anecdotes which leave you with a can-do attitude.

Review by Joanne Fritz.

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A ‘magic porridge pot’ for those new to major gifts – but keen to learn

book cover

by Neil Sloggie

Major gift fundraising has been the ‘next big thing’ in a number of fundraising markets around the world for far too long. By this I mean that, although there is excellent work being done in this area by some not-for-profits, too many are held back by fear and lack of understanding…

Review by Charlotte Grimshaw.

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How to grow income rapidly, at a reasonable cost, retaining donor loyalty along the way

by Ken Burnett

In Relationship Fundraising, the classic read for all fundraisers, Ken Burnett takes us carefully through the fundamentals of good fundraising. Ken reminds us that a unique relationship exists between donors and the causes they support, and shows us how to preserve and develop that relationship.

Review by Neil Sloggie.

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Sorry, but you’re just not my type!

by Colin Wheildon

Typestyle and typefaces may seem unlikely fare for readers of SOFII opinion pieces but not so if you want to communicate effectively with your donors. It has been said that communication is the key to building donors’ trust and confidence.

Review by Ken Burnett.

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Conversion of a techno-sceptic

Digital giving book

by Richard C McPherson

Only a few things in life are worth missing a flight for. I’d like to tell you about two of them. The first is merely amusing but the other, I think, you will find of more value. The first was only the second flight I’d missed, ever. It was going to Oslo, Norway, but I was stuck on London’s Hammersmith roundabout…

Review by Ken Burnett.

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Sit in a bath of baked beans, change the world

Making Change book

by Bilaal Rajan

There are too many people who assume children aren’t important and can’t do anything. Twelve year old Bilaal Rajan proves them all wrong. When I first had this book ‘assigned’ to me, I thought it would be some long, boring book on fundraising. This is not the case…

Reviewed for SOFII by Skye MacKenzie.

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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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