Must reads by Lynne McNicoll

Lynne McNicoll is co-founder of It’s Good to Give!

“I started fundraising in December 2005 as I hit my 49th birthday. I wanted to find a different and more giving way to celebrate my 50th birthday. I wanted a way to express that gratitude and I have found it in helping others. I said I would raise £50,000 for a young persons cancer charity by my 50th birthday. I was named Fundraiser of the Year in 2009 and now run It’s Good 2 Give.”

I have always been a reader.

This is the first book I remember reading! Considering its age (I am 55 this week so it must be at least 50) it is in good condition.

Nowadays my reading opportunities are limited more to high days and holidays – for the light reading at least.

I am the woman who isn’t bothered about the clothes she takes on holiday but is weighing each and every book to make sure it can be taken. I usually manage one book every two days.

Ratio of 2 ‘work’ books to 1 ‘light reading’ books!

Like anything else, charity fundraising is a skill that can be at least partly learnt.

All the titles below have helped me learn from the experience of others, and also have the right attitude to achieving goals – even the fictional books!



You can click on the images to buy any of the books I am recommending securely on Amazon.

1. Drop the Pink Elephant by Bill McFarlan.
In the first two weeks of my fundraising journey (six years ago) I got some coaching from The Broadcasting Business – Bill’s company. I was given a copy of the book to take away and I read it within days. It has changed my approach completely – made me much more positive. The very first letter I wrote after reading the book – the very first letter – got me a personal reply from the MD of the company I was approaching for support. He said that he admired my ’statement of intent ‘ in my first paragraph and gave me all I had asked for and more! That was it for me. I read Bill’s book at least once a year now just to refresh myself.
2. Pay it forward – a novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde was recommended to me by friend and hairdressing legend, Charlie Miller – I love this novel, which is described as the extraordinary story of a perfect idea. Twelve-year-old Trevor has a school project – he has to ‘Think of an idea for world change and put it into action’. He decides that he will do something good for three people but instead of them paying him back he asks them to pay it forward by doing something good for three other people. Trevor thinks this will be the start of a long chain of human kindness….
Kindness is very important to me. I like to be kind and encourage others to be kind. If only we could all do the random acts of kindness this book suggests what an amazing world we would live in, and I agree!
3. Blood, Sweat and Charity by Nick Stanhope
– a fantastic book for new fundraisers – takes you by the hand and guides you every step of the way especially with charity challenge fundraising. 

Recommendation 4 is just about any book by Seth Godin!

5. The Event Manager’s Bible – this book has helped me enormously and I am barely started. The lessons learned from it made our fashion show this year even better than any previous year and I have barely scratched the surface.

Events are a huge part of It’s Good 2 Give, and I am always striving to make them even more fun and raise even more money from them!

6. A book that is on my desk at all times – it is actually a poem called The Dash. A reminder that what is important is not the date of our birth or even the date of our passing but the dash in between those dates. What you do with your life matters.

7. The Tiny essentials of Fundraising by Neil Sloggie – you can read this in less than an hour. It is fantastic.

8. Tony Buzan’s mind mapping books: mind mapping is a wonderful organizational skill that helps crystalise my thoughts. 

9. Suzy Greaves coached me many years ago and helped me find what I really wanted to do. Her book is called The Big Leap and I sure took one!

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