Stand­ing on the shoul­ders of giants – a book review

SOFII is delight­ed to share this thought­ful review of The Essence of Cam­paign­ing Fundrais­ing in 52 exhibits and 199 web links – a new book by Ken Bur­nett. It comes to you all the way from Cana­da and cour­tesy of a won­der­ful fundrais­er, David Love. This review first appeared in The Agi­ta­tor and we are grate­ful to Roger Craver for allow­ing us to pub­lish the review on SOFII too.

Written by
David Love
July 22, 2021

We fundraisers have the best job in the world. We help people – those marvellous people called donors – make their world a better place – make their dreams come, true. 

We fundraisers have the most important job in the world. Our world, their world, is reeling. Loss of biodiversity, accelerating climate emergencies, assaults on democracy, crippling poverty and invidious injustice.

We fundraisers have the most difficult job in the world. Raising money (I prefer to say creating value) is immensely challenging. Where do we start? What works? What doesn’t?   

Taken together, these three observations lead us to cry for help. 


Well sisters and brothers, help is here! Ken Burnett has written a new, completely unique book called The Essence of Campaigning Fundraising in 52 exhibits and 199 web links. (I told you it was unique!)

30 years ago, Ken rescued donors by putting them in the centre with his first book, Relationship Fundraising.

In his new book, Ken rescues us by showing us that we are campaigners. We don’t raise money. We work with donors yearning to make their world more just, more educated, more healthy, greener. Precious donors who, guided by campaigners, want to be inspired, angered, impassioned, and given a chance to be heroes. This book, filled with powerful examples accompanied by Ken’s sharp wit and profound insights, is a treasure.

This book is also about YOU. In it, you are a campaigner.  It seems the more we ask for money, the less we get. That’s because, if we do it right, we don’t ask for money. We ask for change.

Our work is too important to fail. In this gem of a book, the best curator imaginable shows us what works and what doesn’t.

We owe it to ourselves to be ‘on the top of our game’. To learn and apply the cornucopia of lessons vividly laid out in this book. Every area of fundraising is covered and Ken’s examples of campaigning fundraising in action are simply breathtaking.

And for the more electronically inclined, the book includes a special SOFII USB key with all the links in the book. Many examples also include a QR code which also directly links to the game-changing exhibits.

To order the book, please click here.

In a letter written in 1676, the genius Isaac Newton said: ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.’

In Ken’s remarkable book, he not only delightfully introduces us to the giants of fundraising, but he also gives us a curated tour of their best work.

I began by saying we are doing the most important and most difficult job in the world. To fall short because we are too busy to learn our trade is unforgivable. 

Buy and read this book and become a campaigning fundraiser.  Your donors are waiting to change the world.

David Love

Agents of Good

July 2021

David Love, aka The Godfather of Good, is one of the most influential fundraisers in Canada. See his profile on SOFII here.

About the author: David Love

David Love (aka “The Godfather of Good”) has been raising money, mostly for the environment, for 50 years. His current obsession is helping environmental and social justice organizations reap the benefit of the coming legacy tsunami. After running WWF Canada’s fundraising program for 20 years from 1979 – 1999, he returned, part-time, to WWF from 2015 – 2018 to run their legacy program — a program he started in 1982. In between, he worked as a consultant, did some leadership training for WWF International and ran The Living City Foundation for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. It is now called The Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation. David and his wife were brought up and now live at the south end of Happy Valley Forest north of Toronto. In 2012, they sold 89 acres of their property to NCC which created The Love Mountain Nature Reserve. They kept their house and 11 acres and live there still.

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The essence of Campaigning Fundraising in 52 exhibits and 199 web links - get your copy today!

The essence of Campaigning Fundraising in 52 exhibits and 199 web links is the latest book by Ken Burnett, SOFII co-founder and managing trustee. 

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