October 2020 Resource

Fundraising When Times are Bad: A Guide for Nonprofit Leaders
Fundraising When Times are Bad: A Guide for Nonprofit Leaders


Jeremy Beer


American Philanthropic, West Chester, PA

Book Review By:

Melvin Amerson

Premise of the book:
Nonprofit leaders and fundraisers can effectively raise funds during economically challenging times by altering strategies, while using standard fundraising practices.

What this book does:
Fundraising When Times are Bad is a good resource for nonprofit leaders and persons responsible for raising funds for an organization. The author provides information and guidance on assessing near-term effects of the economic downturn, while developing short/long term strategies. He also offers ideas on donor engagement, virtual fundraising events, and crisis management.


Chapter 1: The Big Picture
Chapter 2: Strategy
Chapter 3: Donor Acquisition
Chapter 4: Direct Response
Chapter 5: Events
Chapter 6: The Big (Major Gifts, Capital Campaigns, and Planned Gifts)
Chapter 7: Foundations
Chapter 8: Data
Chapter 9: Management

What are some important insights:
Throughout this resource the author shares how to pivot in a time of uncertainty. Practices and strategies are accessed, reevaluated, modified, for the time at hand. Adaptability and flexibility are essential to successfully navigate through a pandemic-caused economic downturn.

Possibilities as a resource for churches:
This book was written with nonprofit leaders and fundraisers in mind but has some applications for local church pastors. Nonprofit leaders will find this resource extremely helpful in leading and managing an organization during a period of uncertainty.

Melvin Amerson

Rev. Melvin Amerson is a member of the Texas Annual Conference and serves as a Resource Specialist/Area Representative at TMF. His experience and passion lie in encouraging and developing generous, faithful leaders and congregations.

Melvin is the author of Celebrating the Offering, Fruit for Celebrating the Offering and Stewardship in African American Churches: A New Paradigm, as well as several articles covering topics from generosity, leadership and visioning. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and is a nationally-recognized generosity consultant known for his engaging presentations.

Melvin obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, a Master of Divinity degree concentrating in Christian education from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, an Executive Leadership certificate from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University.