The Introduction chapter explains why a study of the social characteristics and daily practices of fundraisers is necessary and timely. A growing number of charitable organisations are shown to be pro-actively seeking voluntary income in a context of reduced income from other sources and a shortage of qualified and experienced fundraisers. The scarcity of fundraising talent is described as a global problem, and one that is exacerbated by the critical and cynical environment in which fundraisers operate. The efficacy of fundraising, such that most donations are prompted and solicited, is highlighted and linked to the argument that research attention needs to shift from the donors to the askers, which is the purpose of the rest of this book.
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