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Book Review: Fired up Fundraising by Gail Perry

5 February 2014


 February 5, 2014

fired-up-fundraising-hotThis book was a lot of fun to read.

And yet, when I went to speak at a recent conference and I asked who had read it, only ONE PERSON there raised his hand, and he was the chair of the board of the entire national organization.

SO! Add this book to your toolkit! Why?

Because, bottom line, this book helps you help your board fundraise more effectively.

┬áIf your board is lackluster and dragging, you’ve got your marching orders in this book!

She says, “NUMBER ONE! Focus on the mission to inspire board members.”

NUMBER TWO! Focus on outcomes and results rather than processes

NUMBER THREE! Give board members substantive work. How do you start this? You need to create meaningful board meetings.

This book gives you permission to:

1. Drop Robert’s Rules of Order. No really. Drop them. There’s no better way to suck the life out of a board meeting than insisting on consensus and parliamentary process at every turn.

I remember going into a board meeting with a new board member and having his enthusiasm for the mission of the nonprofit just be CRUSHED by the sheer level of tedious process of Robert’s Rules of Order they had to run through in every board meeting.

So what do you do instead?

  • Set up meetings with agendas that matter.
  • Focus the agenda on results. (What are we here to accomplish today?)
  • Be creative with the agenda. (humanize the presentations-make it fun!)
  • Consider throwing out the agenda altogether
  • Use consent agendas (if there’s something that everyone can agree on before the meeting, take a vote through email and then you don’t have to discuss it)
  • Look at your board meetings as cheerleading sessions.
  • Interview the CEO
  • Always choose one interesting item and set it up for discussion.
  • Break into groups.
  • Set a theme for each meeting.
  • Focus on problems, challenges or ambiguous issues
  • Look at trends within routine reports.
  • Create mission moments in every board meeting.

OK these tips were on JUST TWO PAGES of Gail Perry’s book.


What do you think? Vote! Do you think this book is worth reading? Hot, or not?


13 responses on “Book Review: Fired up Fundraising by Gail Perry

  1. Carrie says:

    As a nonprofit board chair and a professional fundraiser, I’d love to read this. I’m on board with anyone who is ready to drop Robert’s Rules! :-)

  2. Cat Dale says:

    V. excited to find some fresh ideas to get the fun back into our fundraising!

  3. This books sounds like what our organization needs. Can’t wait to read it.

  4. Gail is an amazing coach! Several years ago I heard her speak and I have followed her and adopted many of her approaches. I am looking forward to reading this book.’

  5. Rachel says:

    Gail Perry is amazing! Haven’t read this book yet, but I’m sure it will be fantastic. If she ever comes to your town for a seminar, sign up ASAP!

  6. Teaser sounds great! This is perfect as we are starting a development program and need to get our Board fired up to fundraise and not just advise!

  7. Sheryl says:

    Cannot wait to start reading.

  8. Cannot wait to GET FIRED UP

  9. Megan says:

    This sounds like a great resource, especially for a non-profit like mine that is struggling to make the best use out of our small development department!

  10. Alison Warren says:

    Sounds like a great resource. Can’t wait to read and share it with my nonprofit.

  11. Very interested in reading more of your suggestions!

  12. Just ordered this and I cannot wait for it to arrive! Ready to start reading, learning and implementing!

  13. Just ordered this and I cannot wait to get started reading it!

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