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Book Review: Fundraising When Money Is Tight: A Strategic and Practical Guide to Surviving Tough Times and Thriving in the Future by Mel Warwick

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"Relevant" and "timely" fall short as terms to describe Mal Warwick's latest book. After going through a brief analysis of what history has taught us in terms of philanthropy in times of crisis and putting forward three scenarios for economic recovery, Mr. Warwick presents three possible fundraising strategies to take us through the period of economic recovery.

He then embarks on a detailed nine-step approach to what he calls "peace of mind":
* Step 1: Reassess the Whole Ball of Wax. To make sure your organization is around long enough to make a lasting impact, Warwick proposes efficient management practices, something that is good even in times of abundance.
* Step 2: Strengthen your Case for Giving. Donors don't care about you as much as they care about the issues you work on. Focus on those.
* Step 3: Be Content with One in the Hand – Forget the Two That May Be in the Bush: The author questions the importance of creativity in tough times.
* Step 4: Cut Costs with a Scalpel, Not an Ax. He shares 16 cost-cutting recommendations that impact the whole organization and 14 more focused on cutting costs in print production. Here, I found his invitation to draw the line between major and small donors at $1,000 very interesting.

* Step 5: Fish Where the Big Fish Are. This chapter deals with donor segmentation in as much detail as you need to "get" the idea and why it's important for you to do so.
* Step 6: Stay Close to Your Donors. Say thanks! And then, say thanks again!
* Step 7: Get Personal With Your Donors. Collect and use data about your donors as a means to appeal directly to their cherished values and beliefs.
* Step 8: Step Up Your Efforts Online. Lots of things you need to do to maximize your fundraising efforts by developing a comprehensive online strategy.
* Step 9: Break Down the Silos. A phenomenon that not only affects nonprofits but can hurt them badly, silos are discussed in this chapter.

In short, this book packs SO MUCH in so little space that, if you haven't taken pages of notes or if you have marked less than 10 pages to revisit again, I can guarantee you missed on lots of things: go back and read it cover to cover. You will thank me for it!

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