18 Fundraising Truisms

My friend Henry E. (Hank) Riggs worked in Silicon Valley in the 1960s, and then, in 1974, became a professor of engineering at Stanford University.

In 1983, Hank took on the challenge of overseeing all fundraising efforts at Stanford. He transformed the scale of academic philanthropy, leading Stanford’s first billion-dollar academic fundraising campaign, which set a precedent for large institutions. Later he began to share what he learned about effective fundraising for colleges, hospitals, museums, and other philanthropic organizations.

Up until his death in 2015 Hank taught a Stanford course called “The Art and Logic of Fundraising” and was working on a book with the same title. Another friend of mine, Elliott Wright, has pulled together a list of eighteen of Hank’s “fundraising truisms.” I think they can be valuable to all nonprofits, and wanted to share them with you. I hope that you, in turn, will share them with friends, family and colleagues.

Please download them here.