Friday, June 03, 2011

Review: The Volunteer's Guide to Fundraising

The Volunteers' Guide to Fundraising: Raise Money for Your School, Team, Library or Community Group

About the Book:
Over one quarter of Americans volunteer with nonprofits. Many of these nonprofits, at the smaller end of the revenue scale, are likely to benefit from small-group fundraising efforts.

The Volunteers' Guide to Fundraising is a comprehensive but accessible guide to raising money for a group, cause or workplace, written for both volunteers and staff who aren't necessarily professional fundraisers. Containing insights and stories from a team of nonprofit experts, including executive directors, accountants, event planners, lawyers, and group leaders, the book explains both the practical and the fun, creative aspects of fundraising.

PTA presidents, parents of children who belong to music groups or sports teams, staff in small libraries and others learn how to mobilize volunteers, legally raise and handle money (and avoid trouble with the IRS), prepare grant proposals and plan their fundraising strategies. Specifically, they'll learn how to raise money through various methods:

  • sponsorships and donations from businesses

  • selling goods and services

  • member donations

  • special events and auctions

  • dinners and other food events

  • benefit concerts, lectures and shows

    Taking the approach that volunteers may not have a paycheck, donor history database and other tools used by established nonprofits, this book shows them how to make the most of the resources they do have.

  • My Comments:
    I wanted to know the time; this book gave very clear very detailed instructions for building a watch.  I was looking for some alternatives to chocolate bars and cookie dough to raise money for the school; this book gave clear detailed directions about how to start and run the PTO.  It did suggest some fund raisers but they were tried and trues--raffles, book fairs, bake sales, garage sales and the like.  Some of the ideas seemed a bit overboard for many of the groups with which I'm affiliated--long applications, background checks, interviews and more for new volunteers (not a bad idea if they are going to be in charge of lots of money, but most new volunteers aren't).  

    As I said, if you want to start a non-profit, or even if you are just thinking about it, and want to know the basic steps and what you need to do to stay out of trouble with the IRS, I think you'll find this book invaluable.   Since it did not give me any great ideas about how to separate people and their money beyond those regularly in use around here, it wasn't the book for me.

    Thanks to the publisher, NOLO, for providing a complimentary review copy.  I was not obligated to provide any review.

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