The Art, and the Logic, of Fundraising

A couple of weeks ago I looked at how nonprofit fundraising has become more difficult over the last several years, particularly since Covid. This week I’d like to share some fundraising insights and advice from my friend Hank Riggs.

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 truly transformed the scale of academic philanthropy, leading Stanford’s first billion-dollar academic fundraising campaign, which set a precedent for other large institutions.

Later he began to share what he had 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.

As a bonus, Hank’s family have agreed to let us share the entire draft manuscript of Hank’s book, “The Art and Logic of Fundraising.” It’s ten chapters total about 150 pages. Highly recommended reading! Please download the book here.

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