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Yours for the Asking: An Indispensable Guide to Fundraising and Management Paperback – November 2, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Reynold Levy offers a straightforward, on-target approach to virtually every fundraising concern, including those experienced in tough economic times." (Arts Management, Jan-Feb 2009)

"Most fundraisers are uncomfortable asking for money, despite the fact that they are soliciting funds for worthy causes. However, author Reynold Levy makes the case that not only do individuals, corporations and foundations give money to organizations and causes they care about, they do so because they are asked. In addition, despite the current economic crisis, Americans continue to enjoy staggering wealth, and the wealthy can comfortably increase the amount they now give to charity without depriving themselves. All it takes is a disciplined and creative approach to soliciting those funds. This book shows you how." (CausePlanet.org; 11/08)

"Reynold Levy, could not have predicted the economic climate into which his new book would land. But "Yours for the Asking" now seems eerily prescient - particularly which chapters like "Fund-Raising in Stormy Weather" and "Overcoming Economic Bad News and Psychological Resistance". Regarding tough times, Mr. Levy asserts in the book that affluent people donate more from their assets than their income, leaving their contributions less vulnerable to a downturn." Moreover, worthy causes remain worthy, Mr. Levy said in an interview, no matter what the current state of world." (The New York Times; 11/11/08)

"Reynold Levy, a veteran fund raiser and former grant maker whose new book is called Yours for the Asking, argues that even in a troubled economy, a lot of people still have the resources to give generously…. His new guide seeks to reverse their discomfort and create an army of solicitors with the gumption to go after the stockpiles of money that Mr. Levy says are readily available." (The Chronicle of Philanthropy, November 27, 2008)

"The real value of Levy's work lies in his ability to demystify the process of fund-raising and his personal touch that will appeal to those seeking funding…" (Library Journal XpressReviews, 10/7/08)

“…I found Levy's stories, suggestions, tips, and philosophy completely applicable to any nonprofit, large or small, high flying or grassroots. What did I like most about Levy's book? It is hard to pick out just a few favorite parts, but I read with fascination about how a fabulous event was put together; welcomed Levy's thoughts about the worth of soliciting the small businesses that surround one's organization; and appreciated his thoughts about e-philanthropy.” (About.com, 9/19/08)

Review

"Reynold Levy is a master at persuading people to give money – lots of money – to worthy causes. Now he shares his wisdom with us all – and at a bargain price!"
—Tom Brokaw

"Ren Levy has written the definitive handbook on fundraising. It should be required reading for boards of directors and senior staff of non profit organizations. The lessons learned from Ren’s broad experience are equally relevant to corporate executives as they endeavor to establish and strengthen customer relationships."
—Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO PepsiCo

"Ren Levy is the master of his trade. He can squeeze big dollars out of a stone and he tells here just how to do it. Anyone raising money for a good cause must read this book!"
—John C. Whitehead, Former Co-Chairman of Goldman Sachs and former Deputy Secretary of State

"I have raised money for a living for several decades. But I could not articulate better than Reynold Levy has done in Yours for the Asking the many secrets to successfully acquiring investors. If you wish to learn how to politely and effectively ask for contributions to a favorite organization or cause, you really need to purchase this highly readable, enjoyable and useful book."
—David Rubenstein, Co-founder and Managing Director, The Carlyle Group --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470505532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470505533
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
To have a guy write about how he actually got this done among a very large group of high-level volunteers is not good reading, its great reading!
Allison B. Cornelius
I wish he had not made that boast because I hear way too many professional fundraisers and fundraising consultants boast about raising tremendous sums of money.
Jeff Lippincott
This is a must read for all Boards of Directors, their officers and staff of all nonprofit organizations, but I believe especially small nonprofits.
Al Forrest

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Lippincott VINE VOICE on October 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was OK. Not bad, but nothing special. It was kind of two books in one, and neither was done particularly well. One book involved chapters 1-6 and 8-10. And the second book was Chapter 7. I think the first book could have been better if it had a good beginning, sound middle, and eloquent ending. But the way it was put together it felt like a mere bulletin board with notes haphazardly tacked here and there. Where was the chapter on annual giving fundraising programs? Wow, what a hole!

And the second book, i.e., Chapter 7, was quite a list of topics that could have been made into a wonderful treatise. But none of these topics were developed much. And each could have been made into their own chapter.

The author heads up a very impressive nonprofit organization. And he boasts that he raised over $1 billion in six years for that organization. I wish he had not made that boast because I hear way too many professional fundraisers and fundraising consultants boast about raising tremendous sums of money. The truth of the matter is that it's the organization that raises the money. The fundraiser is just the clerk that helps the organization do its thing. If you were to put the author in a rinky-dink nonprofit I can guarantee you that he wouldn't be raising $1 billion in 6, 10 or 20 years.

But if you are interested in nonprofit fundraising and want to read one person's "legacy book" on his life's work, then consider getting a copy of this book. It has some good content and may be a fun read for you. However, don't expect to be getting a "Guide to Fundraising and Management" as the title suggests. 3.8 stars!

PS. Take a look at the Search Insider material offered by Amazon. It includes a Table of Contents that will provide you with exactly what is covered in this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. K. Crews on April 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Levy is eager to share his experiences with his reader... a little too eager. There is much more space devoted to promoting the author's own successes than there is to helping you apply those lessons to your agency. I was able to glean helpful tips here and there throughout this book, but for a busy fundraiser at a smaller agency the helpful bits weren't really worth the trouble. There are better fundraising books out there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Picky on August 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a repetitive and very elementary introduction to fund raising. I expected more from the person who raised so much money for Lincoln Center. Poor writing...not much of a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Al Forrest on October 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a must read for all Boards of Directors, their officers and staff of all nonprofit organizations, but I believe especially small nonprofits. The author, Reynold Levy, states that NOW is the time to be raising funding. Know your need. Know whom you are asking. And Ask, and ask often. Because it IS "Yours for the Asking"

I bot my first copy from the Author and he autographed it for me. Then I bot 3 more from Amazon. One for my wife who is on 3 non profit boards, one for a friend who is the Paid Director of a non profit, and one for another non profit I support, all small.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Allison B. Cornelius on November 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am a governance and leadership consultant. I train and speak to literally hundreds of trustees, CEOs, Directors, and other nonprofit professionals every year - this will be on the required reading book list!

I purchased the book after hearing Reynold's keynote speech "Recession! What Recession? Raising Money in Tough Economic Times in Washington D.C. a couple of weeks ago.

It was a great speech - Levy's charm, positive nature, and sense of humor won a very suspicious, cynical, and bail-out beaten nonprofit audience over. Who would have thought he could carry that keynote title off among a group of the nation's highest fundraising professionals?

He was a cross between Woody Allen and Hugh Jackman with a little Sting and Coltrane thrown in.

So - I bought the book. What woman wouldn't buy a book by a guy made up of Sting, Coltrane, Jackman, and Allen?

I read it on the plane on the way home and have marked it, sticky noted it, and read it again. When my secretary saw it - she said, "Boy that one must be good!"

I have read more than 200 titles on fund development, what I love about this one are the stories and the conversational style Levy brings to a tough topic - How to inspire regular people to ask regular people for money?

Oh, and by the way, how to inspire not regular people (wealthy)to ask other not regular people (wealthy) for money is covered too.

If you think having a wealthy board means they are an automatic friend-raiser - then you haven't been around enough leaders in the nonprofit sector. Many people of wealth would rather write 2 checks than ask anyone for money!
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