The Epic Fundraiser: Myth, Psychology, and the Universal Hero Story in Fundraising

This book takes a deep dive into Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, and the universal hero story (monomyth). It shows how ancient archetypal patterns hold the secret to fundraising success and failure. It provides solutions to practical issues from making the most compelling ask to fundraiser retention and metrics.

If you’re ready to take an epic journey that will make you a more dynamic and effective fundraiser, this book is for you!


Introduction: What is fundraising selling? The story that enhances identity

1 The donor and the universal hero story

2 The fundraiser in the universal hero story

3 Beyond the donor hero: Fundraising and other archetypal characters

4 Women, wealth, and reframing the donor-hero story

5 The fundraising curse of the administrator-hero story

6 The nonprofit in the donor’s hero story: The Hammer of Thor

7 Fundraiser turnover problems: The stigmatised story character

8 Fundraiser turnover solutions: Transforming the story character

9 Introducing the epic fundraiser to the public: What’s your job?

10 Fundraiser as sage or jester? The counterfeit guide

11 The epic fundraiser as translator: Selling to the internal organization

12 Organizational solutions to fundraising with rival hero stories

13 The perfect fundraising ask: Advice from Obi-Wan, Gandalf, and Morpheus

14 Confirming donor heroism with gratitude: The return of the hero

15 Donor publicity and donor hesitancy: The hero’s initial refusal to return

16 Why story? The narrative arc in practical fundraising

17 Story problems with fundraising metrics: UR doing it wrong

18 Story solutions with fundraising metrics: Advancing the right story for the right donors

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