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Book Review:
Fundraise Painlessly, How to Earn More Funds

As a self described "field guide for volunteers seeking to generate money," Fundraise Painlessly is a real life saver for the part time volunteer fundraiser of any small nonprofit group. The authors have created an easy to read format in the 8 1/2" x 11" softcover book, with detailed instructions for over 60 different fundraisers packed into it's 192 pages.

It starts with chapter 1 covering the basics of organizing your non-profit group and choosing fundraising projects: establishing a mission, goal-setting, record-keeping, and budgets. If your just getting ready to start your nonprofit it has sections on getting tax-exempt and a Federal form 990 to fill out. Worksheets and forms here with guidelines for all fundraisers, annual budget, master event, project income, service/event projected budget, and product sales projected budget. Even a section on how to cut postage costs with special non-profit bulk rates.

Chapter 2 dives into publicity and marketing of both your group and your projects. Sections range from public speaking and a project planning guide to a volunteer job and deadline worksheet and a sample news release. Real hands on information about newsletters, graphic design and cutting and pasting.

Chapter 3 goes into areas that are usually the domain of larger nonprofits: membership drives, grantwriting and planned giving. Have no fear, these serious money fundraisers are designed for the small group. Sections also include telemarketing and selling advertising in your printed pieces.

Chapter 4 highlights festive events: carnivals, contests, and raffles. Lots of events including dunk tank, bingo, athons (with a pledge sheet to photocopy), a haunted house and the old favorite, the cow chip toss.

Chapter 5 moves into food fundraisers: barbecues, lemonade stands, and doughnut delivery. Dinner socials and event food stands are also covered in detail.

Chapter 6 involves service projects: helping others can raise money too. Babysitting, carwashes, teaching classes, painting street numbers and recycling are here.

Chapter 7 is saved for sensational sales: flower sales, book sales, and product sales. Auctions are covered in a big way with info on the general auction (including a donation form and master auction bid form), specialty auctions, father & son cake bake & auction, silent auction, (with a silent auction bid sheet), and a servant auction ( and worksheet). Other sales include cookbooks, garage sales, daffodil sales, grocery store gift certificates, and t-shirts.

The book covers all phases of planning, managing, and marketing a multitude of fundraising projects. It walks you through the entire process of selecting and executing a fundraiser: from brainstorming, to manpower, to supplies and reports. It has an easy to use format and it's chapters are clearly marked and indexed for quick access. Each subject is a quick read yet goes into enough detail to get the job done. With over 45 photocopiable forms and worksheets, your organization will build a solid administrative and financial base for its fundraising activities.

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Editor's Note:

As an office manager and active volunteer/fundraiser for over 20 years, Ralfie Blasius know the importance of keen organizational skills. With a Bachelor of Arts in language, she has a strong communications background. Chip Blasius has been self-employed for over 20 years. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics, and just completed a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts. They are both active in non-profit organizations including scouts (Chip achieved Eagle Scout status in 1973), churches, and other clubs. Combining their business knowledge with their fundraising experiences, Chip and Ralfie have condensed the essence of many practical lessons on business, time, volunteer, and project management in Fundraise Painlessly.

Fundraise Painlessly is available online through Borders,, and Barnes and Noble or can be ordered through any bookstore.

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