The Porcupine Principle

Fundraising can be a prickly business...

the porcupine principle book cover

Available to pre-order. Published May 2024

The Porcupine Principle is your down-to-earth and thought-provoking guide that will change your assumptions about fundraising. Interwoven with practical fundraising tips and advice, this book will make you reflect deeply on how and why you fundraise.

It features 41 mini-stories that illustrate the following key premise: it’s not just the’how’ of fundraising that you need to learn but also understanding the motivations of people who give.

Who should buy this book?

This is a book for voluntary or paid fundraisers and fundraising managers who are open-minded enough to step away from the norm and try something new. Read each short perfect parcel of wisdom in order or at random, in a gap between meetings or over a lunchtime sandwich. You won’t regret it.

What does it cover?

Hugely popular when originally published back in 2006, this fully revised second edition features eight new stories making up the collection of 41 humorous and pin-sharp vignettes. It includes:

  • Divine compost – why what you do now matters
  • Move the snail – how problem-solving can be simpler than you think
  • The map is not the territory – being surprised by the truth
  • The porcupine principle – how to get your messaging right

What people say about this book


‘This book is superb and it should be essential reading for anyone in fundraising… The Porcupine Principle is not a dry read. It is teeming with theories and ideas, and is a relevant and well-written challenge to all fundraisers.’

Lindsay Boswell, former Chief Executive, Institute of Fundraising and former Chief Operating Officer, FareShare

‘Contains a wealth of ideas from someone who has been there and done it.’

Stuart Etherington, former Chief Executive, NCVO


‘Deserves to be the fundraising book of the year.’

Peter Fletcher FFIA, CFRW University Hospital Birmingham Charities

Look inside

Have a look inside the previous edition.

About the author

Jonathan de Bernhardt Wood

Jonathan is Director of Giving for the Church of England and prior to that was Generous Giving Advisor for the Diocese of Oxford.

He has held senior leadership, fundraising and governance roles within the charity sector for over 30 years and is also a Lay Canon at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. He is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, has a Certificate in Management and an MA in Applied Theology.

Jonathan’s speaks at events on fundraising, marketing and management. His book, The Porcupine Principle (originally written under the name Jonathan Farnhill), has quickly developed into a unique, fundraising classic.

Buy the physical copy

Price £19.95

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