Learn From My Experiences

A Collection of Essays on Fundraising for Professionals, Lay Leaders, Volunteers and the Public

Non-Fiction - Business/Finance
260 Pages
Reviewed on 04/14/2022
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Author Biography

NORMAN B. GILDIN is an experienced fundraiser guided by principles of strategic planning. His background encompasses the four pillars of fundraising: annual campaigns, building fund/capital campaigns, planned giving and endowment fund giving.
Mr. Gildin believes in methodical approaches to development. He brings a sophisticated approach to fundraising with emphasis on strategic planning. Gildin is results oriented, and gets the job done.
At Migdal Ohr, he shepherded the American Office to $16.6 million raised while serving as its Executive VP.
During his tenure at OHEL Children’s Home and Family Services, his leadership resulted in more than $30 million raised towards the annual campaign, and $9-to $10 million towards the capital campaign.
In his 18 tenure at Metropolitan Jewish Geriatric Foundation, Norman’s leadership approach raised more than $30 million in annual and capital funds.
Norman handled the fundraising activities of the Women’s Auxiliary at the Jewish Home for the Elderly of Fairfield, Connecticut, where there were 1,000 members when he started and more than 4,000 members at the end of his term. He annually raised hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Jewish Home.
He spearheaded multiple successful fundraising campaigns and raised essential funds.
He has strong PR/marketing experience, and is a proven leader with social media.
Gildin has lectured, published and served as a volunteer/consultant for not-for-profit organizations and is a regular columnist for numerous media.
His master’s is from the GWU, School of Government and Business Administration, Washington, D. C.
Mr. Gildin lives with his wife Barbara in Florida.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

In Learn From My Experiences, Norman B. Gildin shares his experience from more than 40 years of raising funds for nonprofit organizations. The book contains several valuable lessons for development professionals, volunteers, and the public at large since fundraising is a common practice among various societies. Learn From My Experiences treats major aspects of fundraising, including mastering the art of storytelling, understanding why people give, measuring success, remembering to thank donors, and more. Norman also discusses the possible future of giving following the Covid-19 pandemic era and the challenges faced by Jewish philanthropists. Is fundraising a one-man job? Is Chinese Auction a sustainable way to raise funds? The book tackles these and other key questions that individuals and groups might have about raising funds.

Norman B. Gildin leads his audience to different profound conclusions and insights with captivating stories and words of advice that are so easy to comprehend that even a child would understand them. The various quotes from rabbis and Jewish scholars included add to the richness of the book and the validity of the author's words. Among the plentiful valuable lessons, I especially liked the one that encourages readers to embrace "clean, simple" messages that will brand their organizations instead of spreading their attention over several causes. Reading the book was a pleasurable experience as the lessons come in concise, well-organized chapters that are easy to read. Learn From My Experiences is a gift and a blessing for fundraisers—professionals or otherwise. With a simple language and a neat, easy-to-navigate format, the book effectively captures the practices needed to achieve fundraising goals efficiently and in good time. I'm definitely saving this for future use!

K.C. Finn

Learn From My Experiences: A Collection of Essays on Fundraising for Professionals, Lay Leaders, Volunteers and the Public is a work of non-fiction in the business and finance subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Norman B. Gildin. The book collects together a series of writings by the author based on the lessons he has learned from over 40 years of experience in the fundraising field. Addressing a variety of topics and discussing many techniques for achieving the best results, the book aims to support professionals and amateurs alike in achieving the best results possible for their fundraising activities.

This was a highly interesting read about a field that will be of great interest even to non-professionals with an interest in running fundraising events for the charities that have meaning for them. With each essay in the collection sparkling with personality, Norman B. Gildin explores the hard-fought lessons from his extensive career in fundraising and presents the sum of those experiences over a comprehensive range of topics relevant to the sector, from event organization to establishing relationships with individual donors. Learn From My Experience is an insightful guide with a plethora of information available for readers, whether veterans of the industry or amateurs wishing to support a local charity. The author is extremely generous with his insights, keeping no trade secrets back in a book that is a must-read for those working within the sector, mixing surprising anecdotes from years of experience with astute analysis of the lessons learned.

Sefina Hawke

Learn From My Experiences (A Collection of Essays on Fundraising for Professionals, Lay Leaders, Volunteers, and the Public) by Norman B. Gildin is a non-fiction business and finance book that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who wish to learn about fundraising regardless of whether they are a volunteer, a career professional, or a fundraising novice. The book covers sixty-seven chapters that range from topics like the ethical fundraiser and, yes, fundraising is a team sport to what happens after the COVID-19 pandemic. The numerous chapters cover every aspect of fundraising, the author’s own experiences with each aspect, and the lessons he learned along the way. Are you ready to learn how to take your fundraiser(s) to the next level?

Learn From My Experiences (A Collection of Essays on Fundraising for Professionals, Lay Leaders, Volunteers and the Public) by Norman B. Gildin was a very well written and well-organized book that did an amazing job of providing information on fundraising in a manner that anyone could understand, regardless of their experience. As a psychology professional interested in working for a non-profit organization in the future, I found this book to be a gold mine of information. I chose to read the book in consecutive order, but I liked the fact that, if I wanted to, I could have jumped around from chapter to chapter as I wished without any confusion. Overall, I really liked this book and I personally enjoyed the 'don’t give up' chapter the most as I found it to be both informative and inspirational in terms of not giving up even if things do not work out at first.

Vincent Dublado

Learn From My Experiences: A Collection of Essays on Fundraising for Professionals, Lay Leaders, Volunteers and the Public by Norman B. Gildin is a three-year work intended to help not only development professionals, but also lay leaders, volunteers, and anyone who is involved in fundraising. This is not an exhaustive description of every kind of fundraising. Rather, it addresses the major categories of giving, namely, annual campaigns, capital campaigns, planned giving, and endowment fund giving. Moreover, this book is a hands-on experience that also details how to think quickly on your feet as fundraising campaigns do not always go according to plan. Part of it describes ingenious solutions to some of the author’s projects that went wrong. He presents his campaigns that operate under the dictum that proper prior planning prevents poor performance.

True to his hypothesis, Norman B. Gildin gives invaluable insight into the world of fundraising and where it fits in a world that has been drastically changed by the pandemic. This is why Learn From My Experiences is an indispensable resource for anyone engaged in or is considering venturing into fundraising. Gildin’s hands-on experience as a fundraiser is armed with principles of strategic planning that give you feasible ideas for creating a sustainable, scalable fundraising campaign to help you grow and stay relevant in today’s ever-changing world, where many have suffered from diminished fundraising. The best part of this book is that it gives you realistic expectations by making you understand the state of the economy and what key components are needed by nonprofits to make it through. I highly recommend this book for its relevance and transparency.

Rabia Tanveer

Learn From My Experiences: A Collection of Essays on Fundraising for Professionals, Lay Leaders, Volunteers and the Public by Norman B. Gildin is a great book for people who want to pursue a profession in marketing and fundraising. The author has more than four decades of experience that he shares with his readers while going into minor details and the nitty-gritty of fundraising. Each chapter offers valuable information about fundraising, how a fundraiser can be made successful, and the challenges of creating a perfect fundraiser to name a few. With his decades of experience in the field, author Norman B. Gildin shares how the age-old fundraising techniques can be used in the modern, post-COVID world and still be successful. While his main focus is on non-profits, his professional input can be useful for any business model.

Considering that this is a non-fiction book on business and fundraising, I enjoyed it far more than I expected. The narrative is exceptionally easy to read and downright enjoyable, to say the least. The techniques, methodologies, and practices are practical and easy to apply in real-world scenarios. While each chapter shares invaluable information for readers, I found chapter seven to be very impactful. Fundraising can be a thankless job, and people believe anyone can raise money for any cause, considering the modern tools available. However, it is not the case, and it never will be. Author Norman B. Gildin shares stories, real-life experiences, and the information of his hard-earned career to leave an impact on the minds of his audience. The narrative is smooth, flows perfectly, and is very easy to digest, which makes this book a rare gem. Useful and educational.