Fundraising for the GENIUS, 2nd Edition


Whether you are a “newbie” to fundraising or an experienced fundraiser concerned about shrinking funding sources, Fundraising for the GENIUS will guide you every step of the way toward fundraising success.

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Your success in nonprofit fundraising begins with Fundraising for the GENIUS, a comprehensive blueprint that lifts you and your organization to a higher level. Beginners and experts alike turn to author Linda Lysakowski for the basics, for the latest, and for encouragement and inspiration on the path to greater revenue and professional success. Learn how to develop an integrated fundraising program that leverages your human and financial resources to create a strong organization.

Arm Yourself for Success

This expanded second edition of Fundraising for the GENIUS arms you with the tools and teaches you the moves that are the stuff of pure GENIUS:

  • Learn to develop a sustainable fundraising program that grows with your organization and empowers you to fulfill your mission.
  • Understand the world of philanthropy, development, and fundraising (and know the differences between each).
  • Effectively bring your board, nondevelopment staff, development staff, and volunteers together to create a powerful development team.
  • Learn how to evaluate your success and to plan for growth in your development program.
  • Know how to develop a compelling case for support.
  • Have a firm handle on the tools and methods available to you as a fundraiser, and choose what makes the most sense for your organization.
  • Expertly wield the tools that raise organizational awareness, and build relationships that help you succeed in your fundraising efforts.

We Think Highly of Our Readers. Obviously!

Though we admit to a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun in referring to our readers as geniuses, we do in fact think highly of them. We know that they are intelligent and knowledgeable about many subjects, just not necessarily on the subjects of the GENIUS books they pick up. They know that, despite the title, our books are for pretty much everyone, not just “Einsteins”—but we think even Einsteins will enjoy our books!

We celebrate the fact that our readers are sufficiently inspired to learn new subjects that they pick up our books, which in turn inspires us, through plenty of perspiration at every step, to strive for excellence in producing them.



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Linda Lysakowski, ACFRELinda Lysakowski, ACFRE, is graduate of Alvernia University and AFP’s Faculty Training Academy, receiving the designation Master Teacher for the latter. She is one of one hundred professionals worldwide to hold the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive designation. Linda is the president of Linda Lysakowski, LLC, dedicated to inspiring creativity and philanthropy.

In her twenty plus years as a philanthropic consultant, Linda has managed capital campaigns, helped hundreds of nonprofit organizations achieve their development goals, and trained more than 26,000 development professionals in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Egypt, and most of the fifty United States.

Linda is the author of a number of titles published by CharityChannel Press, the publishing imprint of the CharityChannel professional community:

Fundraising as a CareerFundraising is one of the hottest careers in the United States. So no, you are definitely NOT crazy! It is also probably one of the least understood careers, sometimes even by those who are in it. Fundraising as a Career: What, Are You Crazy? was written to enlighten anyone who wonders about a career in fundraising, wants to advance in their mid-stream fundraising career, or hire a development person onto staff. The book gives you an insider’s view that will equip you for success. It helps you examine the many possibilities in the field of development and assess whether you have the right skills, personality, and enthusiasm for the job.

Capital Campaigns: Everything You NEED to KnowCapital Campaigns: Everything You NEED to Know is a practical, down-to-earth guide that will take the “pain” out of your capital campaign. Is your organization considering a capital, endowment, or other major fundraising campaign? Do you work for or serve on the board of a nonprofit that is thinking about or ready to launch a capital campaign? Many organizations launch campaigns that disrupt the annual giving program, drain the staff, and fail to reach their goals for a number of reasons discussed by Linda in the book.

Raise More Money from Your Business Community: A Practical Guide to Tapping into Corporate Charitable GivingRaise More Money from Your Business Community: A Practical Guide to Tapping into Corporate Charitable Giving is based on research and practical experience that will enable you to raise more money from your business community. It will help you:

  • Identify the types of businesses likely to give
  • Communicate with business leaders in a more compelling manner
  • Involve volunteers from the business world in your fundraising activities
  • Understand why businesses support their local communities and why some organizations are successful in their approaches to businesses and others are not.
  • Reach beyond event sponsorship as a way to involve the business community.
  • Understand the corporate/foundation relations fallacy and why it often does not work.
  • Learn the secrets used by successful nonprofits when asking for money from businesses.
  • Involve your board members in developing their business network for your organization.
  • Plan an annual business appeal.

The Leaky Bucket: What's Wrong with Your Fundraising and How You Can Fix it, by Ellen Bristol and Linda Lysakowski, ACFREEven some of the finest fund development programs have leaks—pockets of inefficiency that, left unaddressed, will continue to reduce the support the nonprofit organization receives from its fundraising program. The Leaky Bucket: What’s Wrong with Your Fundraising and How You Can Fix, coauthored with Ellen Bristol, is a groundbreaking book that shows you how to find the leaks and plug them quickly and effectively. This book is a must-read for every nonprofit fundraiser, senior executive, and board member. Raising money is truly mission critical. The authors detail every area where your agency can improve results, not just for today but for year after year after year.

YOU and Your Nonprofit BoardIn YOU and Your Nonprofit Board: Advice and Practical Tips from the Field’s Top Practitioners, Researchers, and Provocateurs, Linda joins a star-studded cast of collaborators assembled from the CharityChannel professional community by editor Terrie Temkin. This remarkable board volume that delivers the wisdom of the nonprofit world’s leading practitioners, researchers, and provocateurs. This easily-digestible book is a must for board directors and anyone who is interested in effective nonprofit leadership. The focused, short essay format makes it easy for the reader to absorb the authors’ thinking on a variety of topics: some traditional—such as board member roles and responsibilities, recruitment, meeting management, and evaluation—and others not so much. For instance, you’ll find articles on coaching for directors, the value of conversation, and several new structures for governance.

YOU and Your NonprofitLinda served as the coeditor, along with Norman Olshansky, and contributing author of You and Your Nonprofit: Practical Advice and Tips from the CharityChannel Professional Community. It was written for those who want to learn more about the nonprofit sector or improve their knowledge and skills related to nonprofit leadership, management and fundraising. Peer-reviewed articles selected for inclusion in this book have been contributed by nationally known experts within the nonprofit sector.

The Nonprofit Consulting PlaybookLinda and Susan Schaefer, both successful nonprofit-sector consultants in their own right, coedited The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook: Winning Strategies from 25 Leaders in the Field, a first-of-its-kind insight into the everyday lives of consultants to the nonprofit sector. This collection of firsthand contributions from some of the most respected consultants in the nonprofit sector takes the reader on a journey that spans a consultant’s professional life—from the decisions that formed the business to a detailed set of options for winding it down.

Fundraising for the GENIUS, Second EditionLinda is also the author of the first book written for For the GENIUS Press, also an imprint of CharityChannel. Whether you are a “newbie” to fundraising, an experienced fundraiser concerned about shrinking funding sources, or want to become a fundraising “superstar,” Fundraising for the GENIUS will give you the answers you need to succeed. Learn how to develop an integrated fundraising program that allows you to leverage your human and financial resources to create a strong organization. Why do we call this book a GENIUS book? Thomas Edison famously said:

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.
—Thomas Edison

Reading this For the GENIUS book shows that you have the inspiration to master the art and science of fundraising. Linda helps you with the perspiration part by showing you how to dramatically increase your fundraising results by employing tried-and-true methods used by the most successful nonprofits and institutions.

In additional, Linda is author of: Recruiting and Training Fundraising Volunteers, The Development Plan, and The Matriarch (a novel). She is a contributing author to The Fundraising Feasibility Study—It’s Not About the Money, and coauthor of The Essential Nonprofit Fundraising Handbook, and Your New Donor.