The Five Strategies for Fundraising Success

What do you hope to accomplish by establishing a fundraising program? Generating income, obviously. But the reality is that fundraising can deliver much more than that. In The Five Strategies for Fundraising Success, direct-mail marketing maven Mal Warwick presents five fundraising strategies and discusses how each can accomplish different goals beyond the raising of money.

In section one of this well-organized book, Warwick outlines his five strategies: Growth, Involvement, Visibility, Efficiency, and Stability (or G.I.V.E.S). Each method has a specific goal beyond the raising of money. The growth method, for example, is designed to increase your donor base. The involvement strategy seeks to build stronger relationships between your organization and your donors. A visibility plan is designed to gain more public recognition for an organization, while a stability strategy strives to ensure its long-term viability. And an efficiency strategy will help you raise money while keeping your costs to a minimum.

In the second section of the book, Warwick briefly discusses how an organization should go about choosing a strategy —— a process that can be complicated by the subtleties and contradictions inherent within each strategy. Warwick does a good job of explaining the traps to avoid, and includes a self-assessment worksheet to help pinpoint which strategy is best suited to the needs of your nonprofit.

Once your organization has selected a strategy, it's time to develop a practical plan for pursuing that strategy, as well as tools to evaluate its success. In the third and most detailed section of the book, Warwick provides numerous assessment tools that will help you decide whether your organization should adopt one of the five strategies. How you evaluate your fundraising program once you've settled on a plan comprises section four, which includes a discussion of the top ten fundraising benchmarks for a nonprofit organization.

While many books on fundraising stick to the nuts and bolts of raising money, Warwick's book focuses on the bigger picture and challenges nonprofit leaders and development officers to re-examine the fundraising approach their organization has relied on in the past. If you're up to the Warwick challenge, Five Strategies will provide you with a wealth of information and resources to find the best fundraising strategy for your organization.

For citations to additional materials on this topic, refer to the Literature of the Nonprofit Sector Online, using the subject heading "Fundraising — handbooks, manuals, etc."