4 Business Books That Made Me A Better Fundraiser

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. – Carl Sagan 

Mold breaking breakthroughs are often hidden in plain sight.  These four business books are unrelated to philanthropy but made me a better fundraiser: 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Fundraising is all about relationship building and relationship building is what this book is all about. First published in 1936, this is one of the best self-help books ever published with 15 million copies in print. The book focuses on fundamental techniques for handling people, six ways to make people like you, and the twelve ways to inspire others to adopt your ideas or  way of thinking. For me, the book reinforced that people support people and causes they like and know.

Get to the point..how to say what you mean and get what you want by Andrew D. Gilman and Karen E. Berg

When you’re passionate about a cause or issue, its easy to get loquacious. As you build relationships with individual and corporate sponsors, you want to use your face time with them in the most efficient way. This book will encourage you to be concise and direct in promoting your ideas and keeping your supporters interested and engaged.

The Seven Minute Difference by Allyson Lewis

Budgets, and grant proposals and board meetings…oh my!  Its so easy to get burnt out when you’re juggling competing priorities. This book gave me great advice and tips for managing my business, civic and personal life.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott

This book changed the way I think about marketing and public relations forever. Mr Scott not only tells you why you need to adopt the new rules but what things your organization can do now to practice those rules. This is one of those books I keep on my nightstand. Its an invaluable guide for anyone who needs to make or amplify their brand, ideas or projects.

Are you a fundraiser? What favorites have influenced you? Comment or email me at: anisha@lance-lee.com


With 18 years of fundraising and marketing experience, Anisha serves as Chief Executive Officer of Lance + Lee Planning. She advises corporations and philanthropists on how to make the largest impact with their money. She also helps organizations and thought leaders with corporate fundraising and organizational development.

Anisha is a frequent speaker at conferences and leadership retreats across the country. She is also the author of the book and curriculum “Get Corporate Sponsorship: A Step By Step Guide To Securing Funding From Corporations” , The Ultimate Sponsorship Blueprint and “72 Retailers That Want To Help You Raise Money.”

Anisha holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Chestnut Hill College. She is also a member of the Woman Donors Network, where she served as a founding mother for the Reflective Democracy Initiative. She also serves on the board of directors for the Columbia North YMCA, Anna 1919 Foundation, and the Solomon Principal Group.

Image: Freedom Sculpture in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Zenos Frudakis

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