Top 9 books about fundraising – for successful fundraising

(three classics, three about neuromarketing and three about effective creation)

Knowledge and experience are crucial for success. At Mindwize, one of the ways we acquire our knowledge is through professional literature. These books give us everyday insights to help our customers be more successful. These are our top 9 books about fundraising. The proven knowledge in these books will make you a better fundraiser.

You’ll learn the following:

  • Why and how do emotions guide our decisions?
  • How do you use marketing and effective communication to build donor loyalty after the first donation?
  • How do you retain donors?
  • What are tried and true ways to raise more money?
  • What’s the right way to ask?

And much more.

Do you think we’re missing a book? Let us know.

Enjoy reading.

The classics

1. The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications – Jeff Brooks (2012)

Tried and true strategies to raise more money.

Jeff Brooks is one of America’s best writers in the field of fundraising. Drawing on decades of experience, he will take you through the strategies, writing style and design techniques of irresistible fundraising.

This book is a source of inspiration. And whether you’re new to fundraising or a veteran, it will boost your confidence, your career and your income.

Get your copy here

Fundraisers guide

2. If Only You’d Known, You Would Have Raised So Much More – Tom Ahern (2019)

If only you'd known

Proven answers to 40 questions essential to your fundraising success.

This book answers questions like:

  • What age is the typical donor?
  • How long do donors stay?
  • How quickly do you thank a first-time donor?
  • Should you include a request in your thank you letter?
  • How often can you request a donation in a single communication
  • How often can you ask without scaring donors away?
  • What’s the best length for a direct mailing letter?
  • What’s the main cause of losing donors?
  • Which order of amounts brings in the mos: small to large or large to small?

You get 40 definitive answers, all from top fundraisers, creative agencies and experienced researchers from seven different countries.

Get your copy here

3. Donor Care – John Haydon (2020)

How do you make sure donors come back after the first donation?


This book covers one thing: how to use marketing and effective communication to build donor loyalty after the first gift. Prepare for better results in terms of donor retention, average gift size and lifetime value of your donor.

Get your copy here

Top 9 boeken voor succesvolle fondsenwerving


4. Made to Stick – Chip Heath & Dan Heath (2007)

Why some ideas survive and others die.


Provocative, eye-opening, and often surprisingly funny, Made to Stick shows us the vital principles of winning ideas—and tells us how we can apply these rules to making our own messages stick.

Get your copy here

5. Influence – Robert Cialdini (2007)

The psychology of persuasion.


What psychological principle makes people say ‘yes’? The famous book Influence explains the six universal principles of persuasion. You’ll also learn how to apply these principles yourself and how to defend against them.

Get your copy here

Top 9 boeken voor succesvolle fondsenwerving

6. Emotionraising – Francesco Ambrogetti (2016)

Top 9 boeken voor succesvolle fondsenwerving

Discover how to amaze, disturb, seduce and persuade the brain to support a charity.


In this book, Francesco Ambrogetti explains how and why emotions guide our decisions and which role they play when we decide to support a charity or organisation. He does so on the basis of recent discoveries in neuroscience, which have been applied to marketing and fundraising.

Fascinating insights for all fundraisers.

Get your copy here


7. Creative Deviations – John Lepp (2022)

This book is about you and your creativity. It is an anecdotal and thoughtful how-to guide to help you become more creative. It’s filled with basic principles, secrets, tips and ideas.


How do you more creatively structure your storytelling, fundraising and direct response? How do you devise sharp and surprising donor communications to better raise money and retain donors? This involves graphic design, design thinking, storytelling, strategic thinking AND… a love letter to your donors.

Get your copy here

Top 9 boeken voor succesvolle fondsenwerving

8. Storytelling Can Change the World – Ken Burnett (2014)

Top 9 boeken voor succesvolle fondsenwerving

Storytelling can truly change the world.


In 12 chapters, Burnett explains how to tell transformational stories, illustrated of course with dozens of anecdotes.

Get your copy here

Read more about Storytelling for non-profits here.

9. Direct mail. The REAL digital disruptor… – Malcolm Auld (2022)

Yes, it’s true: direct mail is hip, hot and effective. It’s the only medium with a guaranteed 100% open rate.


Discover how to use direct mail integrated with digital channels to improve your marketing results. This book is full of images, examples, case studies, tips and advice.

Get your copy here

You can find more information about Direct Mail in our white paper.

Top 9 boeken voor succesvolle fondsenwerving

Tips for more donations

Based on our 30 years of experience, we have written a practical guide for fundraisers: ’99 Tips for more Donations’. We explain clearly which techniques positively influence the response.

Download our 99 tips and read more about:

99 tips for more donations

  • Tips for a successful newsletter
  • Tips for creating a good story
  • Tips for testing your fundraising program
  • Tips for an envelope

And much more…

99 tips for more donations

This book is a practical guide for all fundraisers. Download the book and apply the tips today!

Download the book

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