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Fundraising the SMART Way: Predictable, Consistent Income Growth for Your Charity, + Website by Ellen Bristol

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Introduction: Why We Need a Fundraising Revolution

Revolutions take place when there's a disconnect between those doing the governing and those who are governed. If that disconnect becomes intolerable, revolution may ensue. They are usually a bloody mess; both sides are convinced of the rightness of their cause and will fight, literally to the death, to prove it. While we may certainly agree that the American, French, and Russian revolutions, to name a few, have brought about desirable changes, we also have to acknowledge that they came at grave cost to lives and property. Just ask Marie Antoinette how she felt about it.

I wrote this book to reveal the need for a revolution in the discipline of fundraising and how to bring it about. Those governing the work—including the governing board and the organization's senior management—are not well connected to those doing the work of fundraising, whom I'll call “the governed.” Evidence of this disconnect is obvious. Fundraising results are lousy, in general, and they're not getting a whole lot better. Pound per pound, nonprofits bring in considerably less money than their for-profit counterparts do, even when the organizations are of similar size, makeup, and even area of focus. Nonprofits often enjoy levels of market awareness and general admiration that many for-profit businesses would kill for. So why are they willing to tolerate such anemic flows of income when they could do so much better?

On the whole, I would argue, the entire ...

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