Introduction

Why this book is “Little”

LBOGCoverAnswer #1 — This book is “little” for a lot of reasons. But the most basic answer is: this book is “little” because you’re little.

This book is tailored for small and very small non-profits who need effective fundraising solutions on a shoestring budget with a minimum amount of time invested.

Does that describe your organization and what you need? I hope so, because everything in here is tailored to that goal.

A while ago I picked up a book on personal money management. I end up skipping half of it. Too many chapters had nothing to do with me! I felt like I only got value out of a couple chapters. I don’t want to do the same to you.

So, this book is “little” because you won’t find long chapters covering ideas that you can’t put into practice easily and efficiently. What works for a multi-million dollar hospital, a 100-year-old museum, or a prestigious college isn’t necessarily going to work for you. We’ll just stick to what we know works for small organizations and not waste any time with the stuff that doesn’t apply to you.

(I would define small and very small non-profits as those with annual budget is a few hundred thousand dollars a year — maybe as much as a million. If you’re a very small non-profit, you bring in less than $100,000 a year, probably more like $25,000, and maybe even as little as $5,000. If you’re making less than that, you need to consider whether you want to grow into something bigger or whether you are perfectly content to remain a loosely-affiliated band of volunteers with a dedicated but narrow mission. And think carefully! Sometimes these very very small non-profits can perform a valuable and targeted service to the community with grace and style in a way larger organizations can’t.)

Answer #2 — This book is “little” because what you need is a map, not an encyclopedia.

Large encyclopedic references of fundraising ideas have their place, but I’m guessing it’s not what you need. Not only do you not have the time to read it, but what you need more than a list is a process. A place to start, followed by a good second step, followed by a third.

Individual ideas can be great, but unless they’re plugged into a good system, they can only work so well. This book is about building that internal system from the ground up — a map for the future of fundraising at your non-profit. It’s a system perfectly tailored for small and very small non-profits, but it can also be foundation for something much bigger if your organization has lofty dreams.

Answer #3 — This book is “little” because you should keep it with you.

My favorite book about writing is The Elements of Style by Will Strunk and E.B. White. Packed with a few short rules, some clear guidelines, and a short essay on style, it makes its case succinctly and then lets you get on with the actual task of writing. Best of all, it’s small enough it can fit into a coat pocket. I carry it with me because it has helped me more with writing than any single book.

Now, if The Little Book of Gold could do for fundraising what The Elements of Style did for writing, I would die a happy man. More practically, though, I hope you will carry this book with you because it describes an evolving process, and you’ll want to refer back to it as you move forward.

Keep it with you, and pull it out in those random moments when your brain needs a break between meetings or phone calls. Check and see what comes next on the roadmap. Find that passage you’ve been thinking about. Or just flip through it randomly, looking for a sentence to strike you in a way it didn’t the first time.

Little Book, Big Ideas

Within these short pages, we’ll tackle some of the trickiest pieces of fundraising: board giving, donor databases, event planning, and good stewardship. We’ll do it using effective and simple ideas that have already been tested by small non-profits.

With any luck, you’ll finish this book feeling like you’re ready to tackle the world and raise millions dollars for your organization. Great! Keep that feeling.

But — while millions of dollars would be great — let’s channel that energy toward a goal a little more realistic: let’s raise $1,000.

 

Thanks for reading!

If you think this looks like it might be useful to you, here’s the list of places you can purchase the book in paperback, ebook, or audiobook form.