13 fundraisers share their fundraising bookshelves

Howard Lake | 4 February 2020 | Blogs

Books on a shelf - image: Unsplash.com

Which books have fundraisers read? Which books would they recommend to other fundraisers? Here’s UK Fundraising’s list of other fundraisers’ bookshelves.
If you are new to fundraising, which books are worth reading? If you’re an experienced fundraiser, which books will help you stay up to date or be challenged in your fundraising thinking? Fortunately plenty of fundraisers are willing to let you have a look at their bookshelves of fundraising guides, directories, research and inspiration. Here are just some of them that have shared them with us.
If you want to join in, why not post a photo of your shelf or collection of fundraising books in the comments below, or on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #FundraisingShelfie?

Robin Peake

Robin Peake, Senior Fundraising Executive at Home for Good, has a ‘fundraising’ shelf on GoodReads.

Robin Peake's GoodReads bookshelves

Fundraising books listed by Robin Peake on GoodReads


Tom Ahern

Tom Ahern’s top copywriting booklist on GoodReads features “the top books Tom Ahern recommends anyone learn copywriting from – for corporate, personal, or nonprofit fundraising”.


Lizzi Hollis

Head of Corporate Engagement and Partnerships at Richard House Children’s Hospice, Lizzi Hollis has published a long list of recommended fundraising books – and a whole lot more resources for fundraisers, all in one Google Doc.



Mark Phillips

Mark and the Bluefrog team have shared their collection. A vote for horizontal display it seems.

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A few gems from the Bluefrog Library ??Fundraising knowledge is power! ? #fundraisingideas #fundraising #bookstagrammer #booknerd

A post shared by Bluefrog Fundraising (@bluefrog_fundraising) on


Lisa Sargent

Head of Sargent Communications Lisa Sargent undertook an even more extensive Twitter-based research exercise than this one to produce the extensive ‘The (almost) complete reading list for fundraisers‘ on SOFII in May 2018.
She asked simply “what books do new fundraisers start with?” and was clearly inundated with suggestions.
Her list features books recommended to her primarily via Twitter, and she helpfully links many of them to their respective review on SOFII.
It is “(almost)” complete because no book list can ever be complete. There are always more gems, new and old, to discover.


The great fundraiser's bookshelf
At the same time as Lisa Sargent’s research, SOFII was also pulling together its The great fundraiser’s bookshelf, another collaborative collection of books recommended by fundraisers, featured on SOFII, and reviewed by fundraisers.
Joe Burnett, contributing editor of SOFII, is encouraging fundraisers to add their own reviews of some of the books listed on the great fundraiser’s bookshelf to enhance further the value of the list.

Dr Beth Breeze

Beth Breeze is Director of the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent, which she co-founded in 2008. She is also Director of the Global Challenges Doctoral Centre. Her extensive research and publications means her shelves must be packed with fundraising and philanthropy titles. Not surprisingly, she had to share her collection in two separate photos.


Marc Pitman

Fundraising consultant Marc Pitman’s “currently reading” list on GoodReads shows another useful function of the site, letting you explore the books that another fundraiser has flagged up as of interest. 
There are currently 80 listed. Mr Pitman is no doubt a voracious reader but this high total is more likely due to GoodReads’ habit of inferring that books you like or file on your bookshelves are actually books you are reading right now! 

Julian Smyth

Julian Smyth of ASK Associates posted a shelf full of classics, plus some good examples of non-fiction books that are not written for fundraisers but are certainly relevant to many of them.

Julian Smyth's bookshelf of fundraising books

Julian Smyth’s bookshelf of fundraising books


Emma-Louise Singh

Emma-Louise Singh, Director of Nova Fundraising, shared a concise list of top recommendations for fundraising books.


Damian O’Broin

Damian O’Broin, director of Dublin-based Ask Direct fundraising agency, shares his bookshelf, or bookpile. We’re agnostic about portrait or landscape presentations of books for fundraisers.

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Everyone (well… @bluefrog_fundraising & @yourbluecanoe ) seems to be posting piles of books so I thought I’d join in…

A post shared by Damian O'Broin (@damianobroin) on


Derek Humphries

Experienced fundraiser and director at DTV Derek Humphries points out that fundraisers shouldn’t only focus on ‘fundraising books’. Plenty of other books offer valuable insight and inspiration to fundraisers, and Derek’s shelf shows just some of those.


T Clay Buck

Las Vegas-based Clay of Tactical Fundraising Solutions is another GoodReads user who has taken the time to create a fundraising shelf. He has also started others on storytelling and copywriting.

UK Fundraising’s books

UK Fundraising has featured fundraising books since it was but a single webpage back in 1994. So, here are a few book resources of ours:


More fundraising bookshelves

This post inspired other fundraisers and those working with them to share their fundraising bookshelves.

Institute of Fundraising

Not surprisingly the Institute of Fundraising has an extensive collection of fundraising books on display in their offices. They are just by the coffee machine and comfy seats so members or visitors can peruse them at their leisure.



Fundraising thinktank Rogare publishes plenty of fundraising research reports so has built up its own collection of fundraising books:

Marina Jones


Mark Phillips (again)

Mark has also shared his mini-library – handy if you are overwhelmed by the volume of fundraising reading matter available!


Kimberley MacKenzie

Canadian fundraiser Kimberley MacKenzie helps give a wider international perspective with her collection of fundraising books:

And she’s got a spot-the-duplicate challenge for you:


Damian O’Broin (again)


Caroline Danks


Emma at Blue Canary


Charly White

On seeing these bookshelves Charly White at Vivid Leadership shared her favourite book:


Sarah Lund

Sian Mexsom

Sam Rider

Charity consultant and lecturer Sam Rider shares some new and old titles.



Saving the best till last, Philliteracy’s collection of philanthropy research and history of philanthropy helped inspire this post and his book collection arguably tops them all. And he’s adding to them weekly it seems.