of The Zen of Fundraising
In eZine 6, issue 18, ePhilanthropyFoundation.Org,
USA, professor Adrian Sargeant wrote:
‘The Zen of Fundraising is classic Burnett, but unlike Relationship Fundraising it can sit neatly in your pocket to be thumbed
on your travels or when there are a few moments to spare.
The bite-sized chunks that comprise this text make it ideally
suited to this purpose.
odd title though? As Ken says in his introduction, the term
Zen has come to mean “thoughtful
wisdom and insights”
and there are 89 of these “timeless
in this text. No more than a page and a half is devoted to
each so they come at the reader at quite a pace. Not all are
new, extensions only of common sense, but it is always amazing
how much of
sense turns out not to be common at all. Conference speakers,
for example, have stressed the importance of thanking donors
appropriately for as long as I can remember yet, as a donor,
frequently surprised at how few organisations manage to do
this well. The Zen offers a number of suggestions
for improvements here…
89 ideas there really should be something for everyone in
this text. If you find just two or three of them to be worthwhile
implementing, this little book will have paid for itself many
From the website of Nonprofit Charitable
Organisations, wwwnonprofit.about.com, USA, Joanne Fritz wrote:
Zen of Fundraising: 89 Timeless Ideas to Strengthen and Develop
Your Donor Relationships by Ken Burnett is one of those
little but powerful books that you will go back to over and
Burnett is a well-known expert on fundraising and in this
book he has employed the essence of Zen. A hallmark of Zen
is “koans” or little parables that teach through stories, examples, and
doesn't make us solve any riddles, thankfully, but he does
capture the heartfelt and wise quality of Zen with his little
parables drawn from his own vast experience.
bits of wisdom don’t
seem obvious until you read them and then they do seem very
obvious making you wonder why you didn’t
think of that.
For instance, Burnett suggests that since we, as fundraisers,
do not have unlimited resources, we must be choosy. He suggests
that we focus on donors who really count. And who are those?
donor,” for Burnett, is someone who has given repeatedly over time.
People who have only given once are “responders,” and not yet donors.
would use his resources to “ask
fewer people for more money for better reasons.”
commonsensical but profound is that? Such is the essence of
Zen, and of Burnett’s
loved this little book so much that we had to restrain ourselves
from reprinting the whole thing right here.’