A Review of “Responsive Fundraising” by Gabe Cooper & McKenna Bailey

Book Review: Responsive Fundraising

by GoldenburgGroup

Book Review: Responsive Fundraising

by GoldenburgGroup

by GoldenburgGroup



esponsive Fundraising (book review)

Authors: Gabe Cooper and McKenna Bailey

Price: $23.75 (hard cover); $19.57 Audible; $20.19 KindleConsider implementing responsive fundraising in your nonprofit

Link to buy on Amazon

4 sentence book summary:

The miracle of technology can help you treat every-day donors like major donors. The first step is to develop a few donor personas and map common donor journeys. The second step is to use your donor’s social media and their browsing habits on your website. The final step is to customize communication and get all your staff involved in cultivation. 

Who this book is for:

This book is good for a fundraising professional with at least a few years of experience and an understanding of fundraising campaigns. It is especially useful for those of us who “came of age” during the heyday of direct mail and phone-a-thons. Fundraisers with 20 to 40 years of experience will learn about cutting edge opportunities to engage and retain more donors. 

Consider implementing responsive fundraising in your nonprofit

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My top takeaways from the book:

          • Technology enables us to cultivate all donors like they are major donors
          • Spray and pray broadcast approach to fundraising is ineffective and inefficient
          • Create a few donor personas who illustrate your typical donors
          • Create donor journey maps that take a person from prospect to loyal donor
          • Use automated reminders generated by your CRM to implement the journey map
          • Involve all staff in donor cultivation
          • Social media scraping gives you richer donor data
          • Say “thank you” three times for every ask you make
          • Don’t equate donation amount with donor enthusiasm; small donors can have a lot of enthusiasm for your cause
          • If your fundraising call to action isn’t getting the desired result, change variables and use A/B testing
          • Know and track the signs of donor “pre-lapse” so you can re-engage donors before they lapse
          • Moving someone to action requires a message, messenger, and purpose. 
          • Target online advertising with “look alike audiences” who resemble your best, most loyal constituents
          • Help your supporters become superheroes by promoting your cause
          • Fundraising has no finish line. You’ll always be innovating new ways to engage donors

Why am I writing about this?

While I was a development director and a professional fundraiser before becoming a chief executive, Successful Nonprofits® rarely does fundraising engagements. However, I stay up to date on current fundraising techniques and strategies so that my executive coaching, strategic planning and board development service are timely and topical.

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