My friend, Mazarine Treyz, is an accomplished woman: She is passionate about life and supporting nonprofit organizations. She’s worked in development offices of all sizes and has recently put her years of experience and training down on paper in The Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising. I’m also excited to announce that I’ll be giving away a copy of the book for free to a reader!

I recently caught up with Mazarine and asked her, “If there was one example or story you could share that exemplifies why you wrote this book, and a few examples of the kinds of content and resources included in the book, what would it be?” And here’s what she shared:

Mazarine Treyz, The Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising

When I was growing up, people loved to argue around the dinner table about how people could try to change the world, but every nonprofit was corrupt. (No one in my family has ever worked at a nonprofit, and we definitely don’t have a tradition of giving to causes in our family.) After I graduated from college, I thought about all of the conversations I heard back at home, about how there was just nothing you could do to stop injustices. That you just had to let things go. And I thought, “Wow, really?”

So, I moved to Asia, learned Indonesian, and volunteered at Yayasan Emmanuel, which had just started to run mobile health clinics in Jakarta’s poorest slums. My first day in the clinic, we picked up the doctors who were donating their time, and got to Tanjung Priok, a slum on the water in the center of Jakarta, in the early hours of the morning. The smell of garbage and burning hit my nose as I climbed out of the van. People were living in concrete boxes with only a door, no windows, and sleeping on pieces of cardboard. When the slum flooded, their houses got flooded too. People made a meager living picking garbage and selling what they could. I had all kinds of preconceived notions about what I would find in Jakarta, but nothing prepared me for the massive skin diseases, people with all of their skin flaking off, people who had leprosy so badly that most of their fingers and toes were gone, and their skin was so mottled it looked like it was sliding off their bodies. I didn’t know that you can get leprosy from having a cut on your foot and then stepping into some dirty water, but you can.

Standing far away, I had no idea what people needed. Being there, I realized that people clearly needed access to clean, fresh water. Now WatSan has helped people in Tanjung Priok get filters for creating fresh clean water, and they have started selling it to other slums, creating income, a cottage industry, and money for uniforms for their children to attend school, breaking the cycle of poverty. All from water.

It was an experience that changed me forever. I realized that I could help make people aware of these situations overseas by writing about them. When I returned to America I began my career as a nonprofit consultant. I co-founded a nonprofit called “The Moon Balloon Project” and worked for arts in healthcare nonprofits.

But what I found was that the books for getting started in making a difference with your writing were just DULL. I tried some courses at the Foundation Center, and looked at some books, but couldn’t really get into anything I read. All fired up from my time in Indonesia, I thought, “Changing the world is so exciting! Why do these fundraising books have to be so BORING?” So flash forward to seven years later, I’ve worked full time at nonprofits and consulted part time with nonprofits, and I’ve raised a lot of money. In 2010 I completed my book, the book that I wish I had had when i first started. This book is about every fundraising method, tip and trick that I’ve learned on the way, for people who would like useful fundraising advice written from a cheerful, fresh, graphically rich, interactive perspective that they can immediately apply to their cause.

Some examples of things you’ll find inside my book:

  • a CD with 80 pages of templates, FAQs and more that you can open up and instantly customize for your fundraising office.
  • a series of quizzes and worksheets for your board members designed to get them to help you fundraise
  • a sponsorship letter that has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for me in sponsorships. And it’s helped readers too! Example? Heather writes, “I customized your corporate sponsorship ask letter to put together a package for an event we have coming up, and I’ve already gotten two sponsorships.” -Heather Davis, The Telling Room”
  • a cover letter that has generated many interviews for me and others who got nonprofit and government jobs.
  • a chapter on how to manage conflict at your nonprofit, something I really wish I had learned in the beginning!

Free Book Giveaway

Want to have a chance at a free copy of The Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising? Simply leave a comment here sharing your biggest hurdle or burning question. Mazarine will be weighing in with the conversation and one commenter will be selected at random to receive the book. We will select a winner from the comments on March 7th.

Thanks to Mazarine for providing a free copy and for participating in this valuable conversation!

Book Giveaway: Mazarine Treyz, The Wild Woman’s Guide to Fundraising
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  • Amy/Mazarine — it looks like the hyperlinks didn’t set right. Maybe it’s just me?

    • Anonymous

      Oh gosh! Thanks for catching that, Rob – they are all fixed now 🙂

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  • Francesca

    During economic downturns, need climbs drastically in the community, and while people respond positively and donations have increased, it is hard to demonstrate results in solving the overall problem. The community expects a reduction in need in response to the their support. We’ve had to focus on fighting fires, not on stopping them from getting started How do we continue to fundraise for these needs, focus on those we have helped knowing that the need isn’t going to get smaller for a while.

    • Anonymous

      Great question, Francesca! Mazarine will be responding here in the comments.
      And, for posing a question, you’re now in the running for the book giveaway.
      Thanks!

    • Hi Francesca,

      This seems like an education opportunity for you to give the community. If you can get stats and statistics on the need from your local newspaper or another source, I think you will help your community see that the need has climbed SO drastically that if your nonprofit weren’t there, people would be much much worse off.

      So it’s about managing expectations. If you could create a graph about the need, and how you’re serving even more people, that would help too.

      You can put these stats in your appeal, in your enewsletter, and on your website and facebook page. Show them that even though their donations have increased, money has had to go out the door at a faster rate to meet the exponential need.

      Good question!

      Mazarine

  • I love giveaways – especially when the book could be so helpful to me! There is an important issue in our field that is often not discussed or written about: managing up, especially when you are the chief fundraiser reporting to a non-fundraiser.

    • Anonymous

      Jessica – that’s a great topic! And thanks for commenting so you can be in
      the running 🙂

    • Dear Jessica,

      Ah, managing up! I have a whole section in my book on that!

      I’ve also recently organized my blog’s archive page to be easier for people to find things, and I have a whole section about nonprofit management and your career in there. http://wildwomanfundraising.com/archives

      If your boss does not understand fundraising, give them a 2 minute explanation of how fundraising works. Show them that they’ll get the best bang for their buck from major gifts, and individuals, and the least from foundations, corporations, and events. There are graphs from Giving USA and Philanthropy Reports that go into detail about where most of the money comes from for nonprofits. There’s also a fun short video here which mentions that stat that 75% of nonprofit money comes from individuals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0myNj8BHt_4

      Managing up is tricky, because you never want to give the impression that that’s what you’re doing. You’ve got to think about what management strategies work best for you, and which ones your boss is trying to employ.

      Management strategies for your boss can include asking strategic questions, such as: What would make you feel like we were moving forward in our program right now? How often do you like to communicate? Do you prefer telephone, email, or face to face? How can I make your job easier? What are some of the pressures or issues you’ve got right now? Is there something I could be doing better?

      Always be the first to say you’re sorry, even if you don’t think you should be the one saying it. Sometimes it’s easier to get things done if the tension is alleviated that way. It doesn’t mean that you are accepting blame for something, it just means you have the emotional intelligence to move forward and try to get your team motivated to do their best for your nonprofit.

      Capeesh?

      Mazarine

  • I am fascinated by this book. Sounds amazing! And I LOVE the title. The biggest hurdle in my work is getting groups to prioritize individual donor fundraising, when writing grants feels easier and more likely to raise big dollars. And even those that want to focus on it, have difficulty making time for it. Have you seen this in your work and do have suggestions for addressing it?

    • Anonymous

      Great question, Tina! And, with your comment, you’re in the running for the
      giveaway 🙂

    • Hi Tina,

      Thank you for commenting! You have a common problem! It’s less scary to ask a big faceless foundation for money than it is to sit across from someone you know and say, “So…. how about $50,000 then?”

      Grantwriting is one of the slowest ways to fundraise. My development heroine, Kim Klein, who has written and edited many books about fundraising, said in her interview with me, “I don’t even think about grants because foundations have so little money.”

      Here’s how you can start to prioritize major gifts fundraising and individual donor fundraising. Put a big piece of paper on your wall.

      Create columns that read, left to right: Name, Email, Phonecall, Visit, Followup, homevisit, result.

      Put your 10 top donors or 10 prospects on the left hand side in rows. Get a sticky note and put the name of the person who is in charge of this solicitation. When they email the prospect, put their name on the email section. As the relationship progresses, move the names along. This is moves management in a nutshell. Now when you are going out to make major donor visits, you can keep track of the people you are asking here. When you are putting this on your wall, it’s REALLY hard to ignore. When your boss wants to know what you’re doing, they can easily see where you are with major gifts. It’s visual management, which is a principle of lean fundraising as well. Requires no fancy software or fancy concepts. Just helps you manage the relationship, step by step.

      For more tips on where to find major donors, I’ve got a new archives page that will help you get clear on steps for success in these areas: http://wildwomanfundraising.com/archive

      Thank you for asking!

      Mazarine

  • Hi! Anyone who wants to read a fuller answer about managing up, I posted this question and answered in more detail today! http://www.wildwomanfundraising.com/managing-up-boss-fundraiser/

  • I put commenter names in a hit and pulled one out at the random – the winner of a free copy of Mazarine’s book is Francesca! Congrats (and I’ll follow up with her directly to be sure she gets it in the mail).