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Book Review:
Fund-Raising & Marketing in the One-Person Shop
by Michael Henley & Diane Hodiak

Review by Deane Brengle

From the Introduction: We dedicate this book to you, development managers, executive directors, church officers and volunteers, staff of membership societies, foundations and associations and public agencies and institutions. Most of you operate alone or with minimal staffing support.

Today more than ever, nonprofit managers face new assaults upon their ability to raise funds and garner support. Competition is greater than ever before. Successfully standing apart from the competition may be the nonprofit manager's most monumental challenge. In order to address this need, we will help you to evaluate and implement detailed planning systems. A solid planning foundation will help you to position your organization in this challenging marketplace and develop successful strategies in marketing and fund raising.

I just love it when I get a book like this to review. It fits the needs of our readership to a T. This book is aimed foremost at the small to medium size nonprofit that has a volunteer fundraiser or a full time professional that hasn't been extensively trained in fundraising. The book is right on target.

The authors, Michael Henley and Diane Hodiak, have written this 189 page book in such a style that even an inexperienced person can learn and implement the basic fundraising strategies so thoroughly cover. Each chapter flows in logical progression and covers the subject well without overwhelming the reader.

Included in the book are illustrations and samples of forms, letters and envelopes. Each chapter has case studies as well as a conclusion and review checklist to keep you focused.

This is a real hands-on how-to book that will get you on track to fundraising success.

At the end of the review is an excerpt from the book.

Chapter One, "Human Resources", starts out by having you admit you can't do it all alone. It deals with setting priorities, volunteers, internships, and board members. A unique technique for getting others involved, called the "Tom Sawyer" approach, is explored.

Chapter Two, "Research", dives right into developing a donor profile through telephone and written surveys and by focus groups. It investigates prospect research on a shoestring budget with ideas like detective work with envelopes and checks, CD-Rom databases, annual reports and form 990's, special event programs, annual reports, the newspaper, and donor plaques and walls of other nonprofits. You will learn how to rate prospects and form prospect research committees.

Chapter Three, "Technology", is a timely section for a nonprofit looking to stay current with our fast paced world. With topics like- conduct a needs assessment, how to secure grants for technology, donated software, software- customized or off the self?, should you go online?, world wide web home page and how to create a successful site, OCR scanners and digital cameras.

Chapter Four, "Planning: The Key to Success", covers the importance of realistic planning with the subjects- the strategic plan and what to expect from the strategic planning process, case statement, mission statement, SWOT analysis and the key competitor analysis.

Chapter Five, "Public Relations & Marketing", is an extensive section consuming almost one third of the book. It covers the basics- the public relations plan, public relations and the donor, member, board, and employee. It has a good section on crisis management, a subject that is usually overlooked by most authors. The chapter looks at how to develop a press kit, press release, media advisory letter and conducting the interview. With an eye towards grassroots nonprofits it explores these creative marketing techniques also- Letters to the editor, display advertising, statement stuffers, readerboards, bulletins at places of worship, shopping center signs, movie theaters, and many more. It talks about piggy-backing on other's promotions, cable TV, placemats and tent cards and finishes up with tips for trade shows, state fairs and special events. Especially good are the key questions to help you plan successful events.

Chapter Six, "Major Gifts", looks at what I call traditional nonprofit fundraising. Major gift programs and donors, planned giving, wills and bequest programs, endowment funds, grants and grant research are outlined here. This chapter covers the basics so you can include them in your planning, but understandably doesn't have much detail for actually implementing the programs. In most nonprofits that have successful major gift programs there are dedicated trained professionals that administer these programs.

Chapter Seven, "Donor Solicitation & Communications", gets back into the details with- make it easy for your donors to give by credit card, electronic fund transfer and payroll deduction. Ideas about evaluation promotional results with printed key codes, colored marker method, colored dot, and bar coding are explored. Direct mail gets explored in depth with timing and frequency, managing costs, finding names and lists, and file management. Memorial and tribute programs, sponsor/member premiums, giving clubs, telemarketing, matching gifts and piggyback programs get attention too.

Chapter Eight, "Cost Savings", looks at sources for in-kind contributions and services, barter and joint purchasing agreements, and the wish list.

Chapter Nine, "Acknowledgment & Recognition", wraps it all up with donor and volunteer acknowledgment, gift clubs, donor walls, plaques and certificates and acknowledgment cards.

About the Authors:

Together Michael Henley and Diane Hodiak bring over 50 years of experience to the book.

Michael J. Henley, CFRE: Michael Henley has served the nonprofit sector for more than thirty years. His extensive career includes management and development experience with nonprofits such as Ronald McDonald House, Junior Achievement, Little Brothers - Friend of the Elderly, and the American Refugee Committee. Mr. Henley has also managed several one and two-person development shops.

Skilled in a number of fund raising capacities, Mr. Henley is knowledgeable about the how-to's of managing capital campaigns, planned giving programs, endowments and special event programs for the small to medium-size development shop.

Diane L. Hodiak, M.B.A.: With more than twenty years experience in marketing and public relations, Diane Hodiak is an expert resource. She has been a trainer, director of public relations and development for CampFire Boys and Girls, as well as an executive director of three human service organizations.

Presently, Diane Hodiak provides counsel to nonprofit organizations in the areas of marketing, planning, public relations, and fund development. Particularly successful in developing cost-effective individual donor acquisition and cultivation campaigns, Ms. Hodiak often counsels nonprofit organizations in the conceptual development and implementation of direct mail campaigns.

To order the book: or


Excerpted from Fundraising Marketing in the One-Person Shop : Achieving Success With Limited Resources by Henley, Michael J.. Copyright © 1997. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved

Ideas for Low-cost Marketing Communications

Next, we'll discuss some additional marketing communication vehicles to increase your organization's visibility and the number of exposures to the public eye. Consider these as supplementary materials to your brochures, annual reports, and donor communications.

Grocery/Discount Stores

Some grocery stores will allow nonprofit organizations to print advertisements on the sides of their paper grocery bags. This is an excellent way to reach people in a defined geographic area to promote your organization's programs or upcoming special events. Of course, if there is more than one store, then additional geographic reach is obtained. The exposure potential can be significant in a large metropolitan area comprising hundreds of thousands of individuals.

The store manager or publicity or marketing director will usually decide whether to charge for this service. Most frequently, there is no charge. In fact, the only work you will need to do is call in advance (often six to eight months) and prepare the camera-ready artwork to be printed on the bags.

Additional marketing ideas available through grocery stores are the smaller advertisements printed on tape receipts and the ad cards that appear on shopping carts. These are usually not sold by the store, but by a local or national media company. You may wish to inquire about these alternatives as well.

Display Advertising

Every city usually has one or more suppliers of billboard display advertising. Additionally, shopping malls, airports, bus shelters, and transit shelters offer message boards and kiosks to promote your message. Billboards allow you to promote an upcoming event, inform the public of your programs or services, or educate the viewer about the need for your organization's programs.

Additionally, billboards are an excellent means to reach large audiences and provide multiple exposures to your message. Some nonprofit organizations gain excellent exposure from display advertising at little cost to the marketing budget. The disadvantages are that you may not be able to select the audience who sees your message, choose the desired geographical penetration or best locations, or extend the time frame needed for your campaign. Additionally, optimum readability for billboards requires the use of only a few words. Therefore, the intensity or depth of your message is minimized. Despite these limitations, however, billboards can serve your purpose well.

Depending on the time of year and the location of the billboard, there may be selected off- months when billboards are less likely to be rented. It is during this down time that a billboard company will most likely allow a nonprofit organization to have free display advertising space.

In order to arrange for billboard space, you should usually inquire with the company's ad or public service representative. Because billboards are often rented months in advance, you will need to call a minimum of two to three months prior to the time slot you desire. You should also allow time for the printing of your billboard slick- the advertisement which is actually papered on the board itself.

Usually these businesses will allow nonprofit organizations to use a portion of the signage for a period of time, from one to thirty days, depending on other advertisers using the service. Before deciding to go ahead with a display advertising project you will need to obtain an estimate as to how much you will need to spend to produce the ad materials. Although some billboard companies will pay for this, they most generally will want the nonprofit organization or sponsor to incur this cost. Depending on how many colors you use and the number of billboards, this cost may range from $300 to $2000. The public service or marketing director at the company may help you to determine your costs. This individual will probably be very happy that their billboard will be used every month, rather than sitting vacant. Billboard time is usually scheduled by the 30-day period.

While most companies will not guarantee a certain location, they frequently know which locations are most common for public service use. For example, locations that are tucked away in low visibility areas are most frequently available for public service use. Of course, these locations are less apt to be rented. However, opportunities do exist for high visibility locations if you can be flexible in your timing. In addition to location, a wide variety of different style boards may be available, including lighted, mechanical, and painted.

In sum, in order to use display advertising effectively, you need to (1) determine your target audience; (2) consider the goals of your marketing campaign; (3) evaluate how display advertising fits with other activities or exposures that are part of the campaign; (4) consider the suitability of specific billboard locations in accomplishing your communication goals; and (5) ask the outdoor display advertising company for estimates of traffic volume at specific locations.

Statement Stuffers High

volume mailers such as department stores or cable and utility companies will sometimes allow inserts by nonprofit organizations to be included with monthly statements to consumers. When using statement stuffers, it's wise to know the mailing audience as well as the geographic location. Frequently, however, major mailers often have their own inserts, so you will need to contact them a few months in advance to inquire about availability. You will find that certain seasons of the year are busier than others, such as pre-holiday months.


Banks, community centers, and shopping centers generally have electronic readerboards that are available, without charge to nonprofit organizations, for items of public interest. The key to effective readerboard usage is to condense your message in catchy phrases so that passing motorists or pedestrians will have time to view it and remember it. You may wish to repeat key items such as dates and phone numbers.

Bulletins at Places of Worship

A printed bulletin in a church, synagogue, or other place of worship provides an excellent opportunity to promote a special event or funding appeal to an audience that may have special interest in your organization's mission. These communication vehicles may be used one time or over a period of weeks. Again, plan ahead and allow for enough lead time to get permission to place your communication, write the copy, and have the message printed in the bulletin.

Company and Association Newsletters

Most companies will gladly advertise volunteer opportunities for their employees and often print other messages in support of nonprofit organizations' events and services as well. Written copy and photos may be requested by the corporate communications office. If you have a key volunteer within a company, you may wish to make them the contact for implementing your campaign at that level.

Shopping Center Signs

Perhaps your local shopping center has a lighted display with several panels, or they may have two-sided signs on free-standing metal stands. Ask if you can set up your own stand in another part of the center. Banks are also good places to put free-standing signs because they receive fairly heavy traffic at certain times of the month. The portable signs can also be set up at apartment and office complexes.

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About the Author:

Deane Brengle is the editor of several free online publications that cover fundraising for small nonprofit groups. You can visit these publications and read more about fundraising in articles by him and other experts in the field at The Fund$Raiser Cyberzine, The Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter, and Fundraising Booklets.

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