Zen and the Art of Fundraising: The Pillars in Practice, by Alexandra Pia Brovey


Zen and the Art of Fundraising: The Pillars in Practice

What is the secret to being a successful fundraiser? In this book three of the Zen and the Art of Fundraising trilogy, Alex explores a variety of situations that fundraisers face daily—from phone calls, to meetings, to visits with prospects and donors—and applies the 16 pillars to help cope with challenging situations and succeed.

In the first book of the trilogy, Zen and the Art of Fundraising: 8 Pillars of SuccessAlexandra Pia Brovey identifies eight traits or qualities, which she calls pillars, on the path to success:

#1 Being in the Moment
#2 Listening
#3 Compassion
#4 Curiosity
#5 Humility
#6 Patience
#7 A Sense of Humor
#8 Being a Mentor

In the second book of the trilogy, Zen and the Art of Fundraising: 8 MORE Pillars of Success, Brovey identifies eight more pillars:

#9 Passion
#10 Honesty
#11 Courage
#12 Resilience
#13 Gratitude
#14 Acceptance
#15 Positivity
#16 Intuition

Although many would not equate fundraising with being Zen, these pillars are viewed through a Zen filter. While working with donors and pursuing gifts, we need to be passionate, honest, and courageous, taking time to be in the moment – to appreciate each donor, each gift, and each interaction. Displaying resilience and gratitude, while being accepting, positive, and intuitive, are explored in the context of fundraisers and fundraising.

The ultimate test is preparing ourselves so that we can successfully help donors make a gift, a larger gift, or a repeat gift. These pillars not only help fundraisers achieve success, but they also make the journey to a gift — and life in general — enjoyable and fulfilling.

If you haven’t yet read Alex’s first two books, Zen and the Art of Fundraising: 8 Pillars of Success and Zen and the Art of Fundraising: 8 More Pillars of Success, both published by CharityChannel Press, order your copies from Amazon today!

What Readers Are Saying 

I encourage fundraisers to spend a few hours in the company of Alex Brovey by way of her three books in the  Zen and the Art of Fundraising series. You owe it to yourself to see the results when an experienced fundraiser, lawyer, and leader in charitable gift planning mines a 1,500-year tradition of Eastern philosophy for nuggets of wisdom. 

Ronald Brown
Consultant and Author of A History of Charitable Gift Planning

After the success of her first two Zen books, Alex Brovey masterfully completes the Zen trilogy with this third installment. The application of the sixteen pillars is cleverly presented in a donor-focused and organization-focused format that reinforces the idea that in fundraising, both parties can, and should, win. The stories within  Zen and the Art of Fundraising: The Pillars in Practice remind us philanthropy should be exciting, rewarding, joyful, and fun—for donors as well as the organization (and those the organization serves) benefiting from such philanthropy.

Cathy R. Sheffield, CAP, CSPG, CFRE, FCEP
President, ThinkGiving, LLC

This book solidifies that Alex is a consummate storyteller! I remember how much I enjoyed the stories in her first two books, and I wanted more of them. So I was thrilled to read this third book which is replete with real-life illustrations of her sixteen pillars in action. You won’t want to put this book down!

Claudine A. Donikian, JD, MBA
President/CEO & Chief Marketing Officer Pentera, Inc.

Once again, Alex Brovey has captured the world of the fundraising professional with true-life stories and excellent solutions to daily problems with clear language, humor, and practical advice. I’m recommending that all of my colleagues and students read all three volumes, but if they have to select just one, this is it!

Margaret M. Holman
Holman Consulting, Inc.

Writing one book that resonates with colleagues is an accomplishment. Writing two is pretty impressive. Alex has managed a three-peat! This third book in the trilogy brings it all together by applying the pillars to situations fundraisers face every day. The content is thought provoking and evergreen—it will resonate for years to come.

Lynn Malzone Ierardi, JD
Director of Gift Planning, University of Pennsylvania

This book should be required reading for people at the beginning of their fundraising careers, especially if they hope to be gift planners. Alex details the predictable challenges of the work and demonstrates that we can choose how we respond in stressful situations.

Barbara Yeager, CAP
Director of Education, National Association of Charitable Gift Planners

Most books on gift planning focus on how to do planned giving. Alex Brovey relates the lessons she has learned from a very productive career and combines them with the principles of Zen to teach us how to be a gift planner.

Joseph O. Bull, JD
Assistant VP of Development, Carnegie Mellon University

This Zen volume walks the delicate balance of pleasing a supervisor and charity’s goals with how to best serve donors, colleagues, and advisors, and how to use the pillars to navigate sometimes-troubled waters. Alex’s wisdom can result in a calmer, simpler approach that values relationships overall—the long view so very much required for this work.

Pamela Jones Davidson, JD
Charitable Gift Planner and Consultant

I have been a gift planner for about four decades. Too often, books written for fund development professionals and presented to us as “new” or “groundbreaking” are (dare I say it?) simply repackaging old truths or, if they move us forward, only incrementally so. As a publisher, my passion with CharityChannel Press is to keep an eye out for that rare author who truly offers us something that changes not just how we do what we do but how we view ourselves and our role. In this third book of her series, not to mention the first two, Alexandra Pia Brovey does exactly that. Bravo, Alex!

Stephen C. Nill, JD
Publisher, CharityChannel Press