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The Fine Art of Fundraising
Secrets for Successful Volunteers

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Reader Reviews


Book Reviews from Amazon.com

Qualitative Fund Raising, May 26, 2007

Reviewer: Butterfly, Houston, TX
This is very focused in helping a novice or experienced fund raiser to maintain and develop their passion for contributing their goals to help a charity organization achieve their mission.

Great book for dedicated people., February 17, 2006

Reviewer: P. Straus, Texas
We already had a good process for giving a fundraiser. But Carolyn's book made all the difference. We tweaked and polished what we were already doing using her ideas and upped our net by 30%.

The definitive resource for fundraisers , November 28, 2005

Reviewer: Dr. Patricia J. Wilson
THE FINE ART OF FUNDRAISING is the definitive resource for organizations and individuals involved in fundraising. Every aspect of successful fundraising is covered in this step-by-step guide that focuses on a variety of events ranging from bake sales and carwashes to large scale fashion shows and charity balls. Volunteers new to fundraising as well as seasoned volunteers, committee chairpersons, and organization staff persons will benefit from reading this comprehensive book before beginning any new fundraising project. As a volunteer involved in fundraising events for over 25 years I find this resource to be well organized, thorough, and always on target with practical advice that addresses the needs of volunteers at all levels.

Attracting and handling benefactors and in-kind donors, reaching corporate supporters, and applying for grants are some of the topics discussed by Dr. Carolyn Farb. Anyone who chairs an auction will find the two chapters devoted to the nitty-gritty of planning and executing silent and live auctions immensely valuable. Choosing entertainment, selecting a menu, decorating, public relations--they are all covered in this work. Of particular interest to volunteers are the samples from Dr. Farb's own fundraising successes: invitations, response forms, benefactor letters, menus, seating charts, media releases and many more.

Every organization involved in fundraising should have multiple copies of this book available for staff and volunteers. Fundraisers at all levels will benefit from the valuable tips and wealth of ideas shared in this extraordinary resource.

Fabulous, April 23, 2005

Reviewer: Carole A. Ford, Tuscaloosa, AL
Dr. Farbs book is fantastic. I recommend this book for anyone just beginning in fundraising or charity events. Dr. Farbs book guides the amateur through promoting a cause, assembling committees, strategic planning, PR and so much more! The only complaint I have is that I did not buy it sooner!


Reviewer: Missy Rorrer
I had the good fortune of meeting Dr.Farb at a book signing, 2 weeks before I was asked to chair the 40th annual Lunar Rendezvous Festival which celebrates the accomplishments of NASA and the community that surrounds it. Using her book as the basis for my organizational structure, we have implemented the "zero budget" principle and have enjoyed early successes. I highly recommend this book to anyone planning a charity fund raiser. It truly shows you how to avoid the expense pitfalls of throwing a major venue.

An invaluable resource for all fundraisers , March 15, 2005

Reviewer: A. Thompson, Houston, TX
Whether you are a seasoned fundraising professional for a multi-million dollar non-profit or a volunteer embarking upon your first fundraising event, Carolyn Farb's book will be an invaluable addition to your learning library. The Fine Art of Fundraising provides you with an in-depth look at the tips and techniques that have made Carolyn Farb one of world's premier fundraising volunteers. Her incredible success stories and sound advice will inspire and equip you to realize your fundraising goals.

An excellent resource for those leading fundraisers!, January 17, 2005

Reviewer: Greg Haynes Johnsosn, "DIFFA/Dallas Dream Collection 2005 Co-Chairman"
Dr. Farb's book is now at the top of my reference list as I volunteer in a leadership role for a national charity. My only complaint is that I couldn't have the book a year ago! It's already helping me as we prepare for our largest fundraiser.

A highly practical guide for raising charity funds, January 12, 2005

Reviewer: Midwest Book Review, Oregon, WI
The Fine Art of Fundraising: Secrets For Successful Volunteers by fundraising visionary Carolyn Farb is a highly practical guide for raising charity funds. From a simple bake sale to a gala charity ball and a wide range of activities in between, The Fine Art of Fundraising presents a practical how-to recipe for success. The author has raised more than $30 million for nonprofits, political groups, arts organizations and more; her experience carries the distilled wisdom of a professional as she explains how to build community interest, what types of events are the best fundraisers, how to earn grants, endowments, and trusts, why making personal contact makes all the difference, how to plan events step-by-step from invitations to clean-up, and much more. An absolute "must-have" for anyone taking up the responsibility of seeing a worthy cause meet its philanthropic goal.

Fundraising for Smarties, January 10, 2005

Reviewer: L. Morgan "Book Guy", Texas
The successful "Dummy" guidebooks ("Cooking for Dummies", "Rocket Science for Dummies", etc.) could learn a thing or two from Ms. Farb. Her largesse, smarts and savvy are known around the world and she enlightens us all with a look at how superstar fundraising is really done. With her keen writing style, she takes us behind the curtain and we are a fly on a champagne glass in learning all the tricks of the trade of making money for organizations who need it most. She's a prolific volunteer who was donated millions of hours to causes that have so desperately needed her help. With those millions of hours have come millions of dollars of donations, too. Read this and become a Fundraising Superstar now!

A Must Have Book!, January 9, 2005

Reviewer: T.T. Gach, La Jolla, CA
Carolyn Farb does an oustanding job explaining the heart and soul of an important aspect of fund raising. The book is an incredible investment.

Practical, sound advice, December 13, 2004

Reviewer: www.eFundraiser.org, Orefield, PA
There's no denying that these tips worked for Farb; what's more, they are straightforward and practical. Overall, a good resource guide for volunteers and volunteer managers in charge of executing fundraising projects on the local level.

Other Book Reviews:

"Carolyn Farb's new book, The Fine Art of Fundraising; Secrets for Successful Volunteers captures the essence of fundraising and volunteerism. Carolyn's wealth of experience, helping so many worthy causes, creates an upbeat and inspirational book that all fundraisers should read as a tool for successful fundraising. It is superbly written and exemplifies Carolyn's genuine spirit of caring and sharing." John M. Tsacrios, Jr., Executive Director, UNICEF, Texas

To a Reader

Dear Bridget,

I'm so happy that my book has been a friend and a benefit to you. First, don't be hard on yourself as whatever you are doing for The Periwinkle Foundation is greatly appreciated. You have to build - encourage your volunteers to help raise needed funds and to reach out to in kind donors they may have in their personal network (restaurants & wine bars they frequent, hotels that their businesses may utilize and so on).

Have you ever considered enlisting the support of the music schools at Rice or the University of Houston to secure entertainment? Mailing lists are almost obsolete as soon as they are created. Perhaps that was the reason for the low attendance last year. Try to involve board members of mutual organizations that the fundraiser will be beneficiaries or participants. Ask them to send names to be added to the mailing list. It's not the size of the mailing list, but the quality.

Try to get the word out independently of a PR person to local and neighborhood periodicals. Many periodicals are willing to write a story relating to the children and the art. Post information on mutual websites. You can always have signage that says Contributions are appreciated and will provide blank and blank services. You can break that down into specifics if you choose. Hopefully, this will be helpful to you and the Watercolor Art Society.

Best Regards,

Carolyn Farb



Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my email. You have, again, given me valuable pointers for this fundraiser.....I had not even thought of contacting one of the university music departments.

I'm happily moving ahead!

Sincerest regards,
Bridgett Vallery
Gallery Director
Watercolor Art Society-Houston

P.S. I just found out today that AIG's printer will print the invitations
FREE of charge!


Emmis Books ● $16.99 ● Paperback ● 220 pages ● ISBN 1-57860-180-0


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Book Cover

CAROLYN FARB is a fundraising visionary who has raised more than 30 million dollars in her efforts. She has been featured widely in magazines and on television and is the author of How to Raise Millions: Helping Others and Having a Ball! She lives in Houston, Texas.

Everything you need to know to raise money for your cause, from the “fundanista” who has raised more than $30 million.

© Carolyn Farb. All rights reserved