Burned out on board fundraising? Get inspired by a view from outside the box

“The big secret of philanthropy is now out. Philanthropy is fun. It is joyful. It is fulfilling. It will make your life feel worthwhile in ways that few other enterprises can.”

Author Ted Kort highlighted this quotation by James Wolfensohn in chapter two of his new book, Outside the Box Fundraising: The Way to Nonprofit Board Success. Kort must have felt the way I did when I read it for the first time: inspired by a positive perspective.

“Inspired by a positive perspective” is the phrase I would also use to describe Kort’s Outside the Box book. Kort’s refreshing, knowledgeable and enthusiastic approach to fundraising at the board level will remind you of the numerous ways you can engage people in a winning approach.

Kort’s Outside the Box reads like a “best of” book, highlighting all of the practices that worked for him over the years. He also provides plenty of examples that illustrate his efforts in the trenches while working on behalf of dozens of boards. Kort is quick to acknowledge the sources and books that helped him, including many authors we recommend at CausePlanet such as Tom Ahern and Ken Burnett.

Kort covers all the bases so I’ll give you a brief outline of his book:

Great relationships are the focus of chapter one. Kort uses the relationship rating system to determine how you are progressing with each prospect.

Philanthropy is the subject of chapter two. He stresses the importance of understanding your own personal views and how those views impact your donors.

Chapters three and four explore how to educate, motivate and activate board members. Once you have them on board, Kort explains how to run great board meetings.

Kort shares four easy ways to to ask without asking and how to leverage your core event in chapters five and six.

In chapters seven, eight and nine, Kort introduces how to use teamwork when forming your campaign plans and how to apply new ideas for phone and face-to-face solicitations.

The two most important words in fundraising, “thank you,” are the focus of chapter 10.

The book concludes with chapters 11 and 12, covering five important subjects such as the elevator speech, PR and goal setting. Chapter 12 ends—you guessed it—on a high note with how to energize your board immediately.

Kort provides helpful finishing touches in the form of appendices that include board expectations, recommended reading and my favorite: 77 Reasons Why People Give by Robert Hartsook. If you’re on a board or working with one, it’s a great time to get inspired again with Outside the Box Fundraising.

See also:

Asking Rights: Why Some Nonprofits Get Funded (and Some Don’t)

How to Write Fundraising Materials That Raise More Money

Relationship Fundraising: A Donor-Based Approach to the Business of Raising Money, 2nd Ed.

A Fundraising Guide for Nonprofit Board Members

Image credits: Outside the Box Fundraising

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