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 Book Reviews & Purchase

From Cynthia Armour CFRE

Sharron and I are equally "seasoned" in the world of fund development and yet she brings a valuable perspective that is well beyond my expertise.

In my 30+ years of work with nonprofits, I'm shocked by how many teams have sabotaged their success by ignoring the imperative of a systematic approach to information management.


"From Chaos to Control" is an easy-to-read, practical guide that (if applied) will strengthen any organization. By recognizing what a valuable commodity knowledge is, the benefits are exponential; time is saved, frustrations are alleviated, your donors will feel respected and your board and senior staff will have the necessary data, easily accessed, to make informed decisions.


The title says it all!

From Ken Wyman, Prof Emeritus Humber College

I wish I had your book years ago. You are so right about the challenges for charities to keep track of all the information about donors, volunteers, people who ask for information, beneficiaries (ticket buyers, alumni, clients, family, members, etc.). This MUST be centralized, accessible, and kept up to date. Too often, it is incomplete, scattered, or worst yet, not recorded at all.

Thanks for the good work you do carrying this message to those who need to hear it, learn it, and live it.

From Jennifer Pedersen 

5.0 out of 5 stars Not your traditional (but a GREAT) fundraising book!

Reviewed in Canada on September 30, 2015

For any development manager who feels distracted or cluttered, this book is a beacon in the storm. I read it on the plane on route to a conference and was able to approach not only the intensive few days of the conference with more clarity, but came back to my desk refreshed and with purpose. It serves an area which is arguably most important - your data! - but that is so often overlooked in professional development libraries.
Data management, plan development and management, even volunteer engagement are presented in ways that encourage a fresh look at knowledge management. With helpful worksheets in the appendix, this is a nuts-and-bolts, roll-up-your-sleeves kind of text. You've got books on your shelf about technicalities of giving programs and donor stewardship - get 'From Chaos to Control' to bring it all together.

From Simone Joyaux ACFRE

Does your organization live in chaos? How about your fundraising department?

Check out this useful book From Chaos to Control: Build a High Performance Team Using Knowledge Management, by Sharron Batsch.

As Sharron says, chaos need not be the norm. So what’s your CQ (Chaos Quotient)? For example:

  • Use the evaluation tool to determine your donor data management CQ.

  • Use another evaluation tool to determine your CQ in your knowledge-based system.

I like Sharron’s acronym for the problem: L.O.S.T. (Leadership – Order – Staffing – Training).

Fix all four and your chaos quotient goes way down! And Sharron tells you how to fix it all.


This book describes a step-by-step process to building your Knowledge Plan (KPlan). Anecdotes describe problems. (Oh, how awful these are!) The book describes solutions. And then the book describes the Knowledge Management System Toolkit.


And then there’s the 15-second rule. Sharron’s office and team evaluate the effectiveness of their Knowledge Management System by whether (or not) they can locate the specific resource file needed in a particular situation — within 15 seconds. Wow. Imagine that kind of efficiency!


I really like this book. Use it! Make a big, important, useful change. Now!

From Anne McLellan P.C. O.C., Board Member


Sharron Batsch has written a lively manual for anyone who works in the charitable sector. She advocates convincingly for knowledge management systems that provide all the tools necessary for successful fundraising.

From Lynn Mandel, Telus Foundation Board Member

As the author notes, "the days of government handouts are over." Charities need to develop relationships within the community (and keep those relationships!) in order to raise funds to deliver services. This requires staff to handle and manage data properly. 


All nonprofit organization leaders and board directors should read this book and take heed. There is no excuse...both the programs and training are readily available. Read "From Chaos to Control" and learn.

From Tony Myers CFRE

Sharron's dedication to our sector is making a real difference. And now her book can help you do the same. Sharron gets it. She gets data. She gets discipline. She gets the need for all of us to understand and appreciate the role that data and discipline have in helping us raise more money for the causes and organizations we cherish.

From Kate Wallace

Should be a ‘must-read’ for everyone in the organization.  It’s not rocket science, but sadly not everyone understands the importance of why relationships need to be accurate, up-to-date and inclusive!”


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