The great fundraiser’s bookshelf

Where do you start, if you want to find the best books on fundraising? Look no further: welcome to the great fundraiser's bookshelf. With help from fundraisers around the world, SOFII has assembled a list of around 150 great fundraising books. About thirty of these have already been reviewed on SOFII, and we encourage readers to submit their own reviews of the others. It’s easy to do, just follow the links below for a handy guide.

You can find an introduction to the great fundraiser's bookshelf here along with ways to get in touch, and the full list is here. We look forward to hearing from you.

‘Don’t we, as a sector, have a responsibility to hold ourselves to a higher ethical standard?’ Change for Good reviewed.

by Ruby Bayley-Pratt

A new review of Omar Mahmoud and Bernard Ross' Change for Good sheds light on the complex world of behavioural economics and how they can apply to fundraising.

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A practical, evidence-based guide that’ll keep your relationship fundraising on track

by Ryan Burdock

Practical, evidence-based handbooks on fundraising are hard to come by, but Ryan Burdock of Prospectus has found just that in Donors for Life by Craig Linton and Paul Stein.

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The great fundraiser’s bookshelf

by Joe Burnett

Where do you start, if you want to find the best books on fundraising? Look no further: welcome to the great fundraiser's bookshelf.

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The (almost) complete reading list for fundraisers

by Lisa Sargent

If you're starting out in fundraising and are wondering where to get the knowledge you need, this list of inspirational books is for you.

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How we deal with data, why it matters and why we’ve really got to get this right, right now

by Ken Burnett

Access to and control of data is becoming more and more restricted, which will have serious repercussions on UK charities, so we need to get how we deal with data right - now. This is the realisation Ken Burnett came to after reading Steve MacLaughlin’s Data Driven Nonprofits and his conclusions are essential reading for all fundraisers. 

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Harold Sumption: the shy pioneer

by Joanna Culling

In this addition to SOFII’s Fundraising Legends series, Joanna Culling talks to Ken Burnett, who proudly shares the full text of Harold’s only published material – Yesterday’s trail-blazing and pointers for tomorrow

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Do you want to increase your fundraising income by spending a tenner?

by Laura Croudace

If you are looking for a fundraising mentor, you won’t go wrong with this book says Laura Croudace in her review of Rob Woods new work, The Fundraiser Who Wanted More.

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A simple equation, plus three big reasons to buy this book

by Craig Linton & Giles Pegram CBE

There are many good books on fundraising, says Craig Linton, but not many truly great ones. Retention Fundraising by Roger Craver of the Agitator is one of those books and is an instant classic. At its heart is the simple equation: retention + commitment = increased lifetime value. Read it, find the big reasons – and banish attrition forever.

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Do we really need another book on storytelling? Part 2

by Bethan Francis & Rory Green

Click here to see more thoughts and opinions on Ken Burnett’s Storytelling can change the world from Bethan Francis in the UK and Rory Green in Canada. Just a little trailer: you can’t make important change if you aren’t an expert teller of stories.

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Do we really need another book on storytelling?

by Charlie Hulme & Rob Woods & Joe Jenkins

An important new book about storytelling is given a special review from not just one, not just two but three of the UK's most eminently qualified reviewers.

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Major contributors to this section

Lisa Sargent

As head of Sargent Communications, Lisa Sargent helps nonprofits raise more money and keep more donors through better donor communications. A creative strategist and copywriter, Lisa works exclusively with nonprofits on direct mail, email fundraising and donor care communications – acquisition appeals, annual reports, proposals, welcome packages, e-appeals, newsletters, thank-you letters and more.

Lisa’s articles have been featured in Mal Warwick’s newsletter, FundRaising Success Magazine and The Agitator. Lisa also publishes The Loyalty Letter, a free e-newsletter for nonprofit and charitable organisations read by subscribers around the world.

Lisa has regularly contributed to SOFII, including the wonderful thank you letter clinic, which you can read here.

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Marie Burnett

Marie Burnett (1949-2019) was 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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