2nd Edition!
Do you wish your organization had real friends?Friends will support your mission in every way imaginable – sharing their time, their wisdom, their in-kind gifts, their connections, and yes, even their dollars.

Raising is about building authentic 2-way relationships between your community and your organization’s mission.Because when the whole community is engaged in your mission, they will do everything they can to make sure you succeed.

FriendRaising is a one-of-a-kind guide, helping you build in-person relationships on the ground in your community, deepening relationships that may have begun online.And FriendRaising is an activity people love – from board members to social entrepreneurs to everyone in between!This no-nonsense guide shows you how to begin RIGHT NOW:

  • How to connect your work with new friends
  • How to engage those friends
  • How to keep those friends
  • How to ask those friends for all kinds of help

FriendRaising includes:

  • 89 Step-by-Step Strategies (and then some) that people love to do. No “getting over the fear of fundraising” required.
  • Strategies for building in-person relationships on the ground in your community. And approaches for linking those on-the-ground activities to your online efforts.
  • Dozens of FriendRaising checklists, brainstorm sheets
  • Real world examples of these strategies in action
  • And more!

Introduction     Table of Contents

You can start
building your Army of Friends today.


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 Once again, Hildy Gottlieb takes on nothing less than reshaping the way we think about a core aspect of the voluntary sector. I am very impressed!

Stephen C. Nill,
Founder and CEO, CharityChannel

As president of a board that would not fundraise even as the organization was about to close down, FriendRaising was our last hope. It should have been our first! Using this book to engage the community in our work, the money took care of itself. It really works!

Susan Smith
Adjunct and Service Learning Liaison

Mohawk Valley Community College

Finally an approach that is honest about “boards and fundraising.” Instead of wrestling with boards to raise money, boards will love these activities. With FriendRaising, both organizations and communities will see immediate benefit – everybody wins. I am making sure my clients have this book!

Renata Rafferty,
Author: Smart Generosity:
Everything You Need to Know about
Charity, Philanthropy and Giving Wisely

I assign FriendRaising in my classes because its practical and effective strategies go beyond fundraising, to building real friendships and community engagement.

Friendraising goes beyond fundraising to provide many practical ideas and key steps for truly engaging people with your organization. It takes you through thinking about and articulating your organization’s story, core values, real needs, and fundraising plan and then provides several dozen strategies to implement as part of that plan. These are all key to building a successful and sustainable organization. Every board member and development staff should have a copy of this book on their bookshelves.

Angela Eikenberry,
Associate Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha, School of Public Administration

FriendRaising has become required reading for boards I work with. It is a game-changer for how they engage their community, with activities that not only work, but that they enjoy doing. A real home run!

Gayle Valeriote
Governance consultant

We build communities not just with money, but with love, care, concern for our neighbors. From that spirit, wisdom, commitment and money follow. With FriendRaising, Hildy Gottlieb is keeping a neighborly tradition alive that is essential to the health of our communities and all who live in them.

Phil Cubeta,
The Wallace Chair in Philanthropy
at The American College

As a guy who loves asking for money, I’ve despised the term ‘friend raising’ as a cop-out. But Hildy’s book has won me over. More than funds, your organization needs people in your community who will fight to see your mission survive. The best part? Your board members get to be 100% authentically who they are. For a more engaged community and a more engaged board, you need the strategies in this book.

Marc Pitman
Author: Ask Without Fear:
A Simple Guide to Connecting Donors
With What Matters to Them Most

Friendraising is all of fundraising except the ask

What if joining a nonprofit’s Board meant doing things you love? Hildy Gottlieb thinks that’s what it should mean. Very few of us find it a thrill to ask people for money (and they are mostly on staff, not on the Board). But many of us like to:

  • Learn more about how our favorite organization changes lives
  • Have coffee with a friend and catch up on what we’re doing
  • Write a letter to the editor
  • Interview a local leader about community needs
  • Have a party!

These are not frills. Each of these enjoyable activities is also a vital strategy for building the relationships that bring you suggestions, volunteers, partners, and money.

Friendraising is the biggest part of fundraising. As a Board member, this book will help you find a way to make friends for an organization that suits your personality. If you’re an Executive Director or a Development Director, you can use it to help your Board members become excited, active, and proud. Then “the ask” will be up to you, and it will be easy because you’ll be speaking to a friend.

The book includes brainstorm sheets that will help Board members think of people–and not just “rich people”–they could be turning into friends of the organization, and sample questions to ask. It also offers many charming examples from Hildy’s own experience creating the first Diaper Bank in the country. Her stories will inspire you and show you that you, too, can strengthen your organization by doing the things you love.

Dennis Fischman
Communicate! Consulting

It’s all about people!
For years I’ve tried to explain to Boards and Executives that building relationships is the key to successful nonprofit work. Whether you’re advocating for government support, seeking grants, or looking to recruit board members, it all comes down to people and conversations. I have gathered tremendous success stories from organizations that realized, and practiced, this. Do yourself a favor and read this book – and then go out and try what it suggests. Surrounded by so much technology we tend to forget that the most powerful tool we have is the time we spend engaging in a simple conversation. And by the way – it’s a whole lot of fun!

Marilyn Jenkins
Executive Director
Allegheny County Library Association