The Leaky Bucket: What's Wrong with Your Fundraising and How You Can Fix It!

The Leaky Bucket Book CoverEven some of the finest fund development programs have leaks--pockets of inefficiency that, left unaddressed, will continue to reduce the support the nonprofit organization receives from its fundraising program. The Leaky Bucket: What's Wrong with Your Fundraising and How You Can Fix is a groundbreaking book that shows you how to find the leaks and plug them quickly and effectively.

Buy The Leaky Bucket Book

Co-authored by Ellen Bristol and Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE, The Leaky Bucket was inspired by the Leaky Bucket Assessment for Effective Fundraising. The authors meld their shared expertise, with Ellen giving us the hard data about fundraising productivity, Linda chiming in on the best practices demanded in the discipline. The synergy between the authors adds humor, step-by-step "fixes" virtually anyone can put in place, and at least 60 years of field experience between the two of them.  These two powerful voices provide a wealth of insights into ways you just might be losing ground in your fundraising efforts, with guidance that shows you what you can do to improve results, right now and in the future.

The authors provide some surprising insights from the Leaky Bucket survey, utilized as a springboard to the discussions throughout the book. Here are a few examples.

  • Only about 23 percent of nonprofits make use of a documented ideal-donor profile. If that’s you, you’re at risk of wasting precious time and money on unqualified donor prospects. 
  • Only 27 percent track their donor renewal rates. If that’s you, you might just miss out on major gifts from loyal donors.
  • Only about 22 percent have an up-to-date case for support.
  • Just 45 percent of respondents have a strategic plan.
  • Only 56 percent use any form of donor-management software.

This book is a must-read for every nonprofit fundraiser, senior executive, and board member. Raising money is truly mission-critical. The authors detail every area where your agency can improve results, not just for today but for year after year after year.

Here’s What Readers Are Saying:

"I wish I had The Leaky Bucket when I first started my development career. Insider tips and techniques combined with common-sense applications add up to a phenomenal blueprint that should be required reading by every fundraising or development professional." Lynne Viccaro O'Leary, Vice President – Marketing at Teachers Federal Credit Union (TFCU)

"I’m delighted to see The Leaky Bucket available to us. It’s a much-needed resource and a very welcome one." Andrew Watt, CEO, AFP International

"Ellen and Linda explain the critical best practices of fundraising in an artful and accessible way. Their insights have helped our board press the “reset” button and start over the right way. I’m telling all my nonprofit colleagues, "This is the book you have to buy next."' Elly Du Pre, Executive Director, Lighthouse of Broward, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

About the Authors

Ellen Bristol, president of Bristol Strategy Group, works with nonprofit organizations to improve their fundraising effectiveness, raise income, and involve their boards more effectively.

Linda Lysakowski, ACFRE, is an international speaker and the author of over a dozen popular books on fundraising, including Fundraising for the GENIUS.