“For many volunteers, fundraising is a necessary evil, a dirty F-word that compels them to have uncomfortable conversations with their families and friends . . .”

Through her work with countless female philanthropists, Diane discovered that there was no definitive guide volunteers and activists could turn to for guidance in navigating the day-to-day activities associated with doing good in the world – so she wrote one. Leveraging the skills and experiences she cultivated over more than twenty-five years as a nonprofit executive, board member, and consultant, For A Good Cause offers practical tips on how to “do” philanthropy. In chapters divided up by specific activities, such as serving on a board, advocating for a cause, starting your own philanthropic venture, becoming a fearless fundraiser, and more, Diane offers practical advice on how to professionalize your philanthropic engagement and make a greater impact. Rounded out with information about best practices, checklists, and profiles of inspiring leaders, For A Good Cause is the do-gooder’s go-to resource for giving joyfully.

Available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Indiebound.


What leaders in women’s philanthropy are saying about For A Good Cause…

“As a trailblazer in women’s philanthropy, Diane Lebson provides insightful advice on how to be intentional in your generosity. For A Good Cause illustrates what research at the Women’s Philanthropy Institute has demonstrated — that women are drawn to an expanded definition of philanthropy that includes time, expertise, advocacy, networks and money, applying all of their resources to work for good. Readers seeking greater confidence in how to do good will benefit from the real-world lessons and decades of experience shared through Lebson’s stories.”

—Jeannie Infante Sager, Director of Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Institute


“We know from research that women don’t resonate with the word “philanthropist” as it can be perceived as primarily the donation of money. Women know that they provide so much more than just treasure when they care about a good cause – they also give their time, talent, testimony and ties. Yet this broader definition of philanthropy is rarely celebrated, leaving women to believe that their full support is not valued. Lebson’s practical guide for women’s engagement with charities lifts up and honors what women bring to the table as talented and thoughtful volunteers, leaders, donors and amplifiers of the mission. In addition, her plethora of stories and practical advice is a welcome aide to women as they consider the best approaches to benefit any cause they hold dear.”

— Kathleen E. Loehr, author of Gender Matters: A Guide to Growing Women’s Philanthropy


“In every encounter with Diane, I am always impressed (and motivated) by her energy and enthusiasm for supporting individuals to find joy in their philanthropic pursuits. Easier said than done! I am thrilled to see Diane articulate in word through her book, For A Good Cause: A Practical Guide to Giving Joyfully, the passion and practical steps anyone can take to embrace the sentiment of joyful giving. I believe truly that with her practical tips and relatable storytelling, you will feel confident and empowered to explore and expand your own philanthropic journey.”

— Katie Vlietstra Wonnenberg, President and Board Member, Phi Sigma Sigma, Inc. and Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation, and student in giving joyfully


“In my many decades as a nonprofit CEO I can’t remember reading a book that so comprehensively addresses all the facets of philanthropy from volunteers to donors to even starting your own nonprofit.  Diane’s contribution to the discourse reminds me that women have always worked hard to make the world a better place, now with For A Good Cause we have a guidebook to do it well and most important to do it joyfully.  Bravo Diane!”

— Lidia Soto-Harmon, Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital


“Diane Lebson’s big-hearted and practical guide to philanthropy is an indispensable resource for any woman seeking to do good works in the world. Whether you’re a donor, volunteer, board member or non-profit founder, Diane’s experience and insight, combined with wisdom gleaned from other philanthropic leaders, will motivate and move you to even greater levels of giving.”

— Hon. Vicki Doudera, Maine State Representative; Board Member and Past President, Midcoast Habitat for Humanity 


“The definition of philanthropy is a desire to promote the welfare of others, yet it has tended to be seen as limited to fundraising for a charitable cause. Diane Lebson’s new book For A Good Cause does a thorough and practical job of helping broaden that definition. She skillfully and with a very comfortably paced writing style introduces the reader to the many different ways you can “do good”…from serving on a board, to advocating for policy change, to making charitable contributions and so much more.    What I found especially useful is her understanding of the importance of finding the right “fit” when you choose to engage in philanthropy. I highly recommend For A Good Cause if you are just getting started or if you have been a long-time philanthropist who is thinking of pursuing a new direction.” 

— Anne Dalton, Community Volunteer, Portland, Maine



“Being an Intentional Philanthropist – Why It Matters and How to Become One,” Camden Rotary Club

“Engaging Women as Philanthropists – Why, How, and What to Expect,” Texas Association of Community College Foundations

“Engaging Women as Philanthropists – How, Why, And What to Expect,” Association of Fundraising Professionals Northern New England Conference

“Finding Your Why,” Knox Museum

“For A Good Cause – A Practical Guide to Giving Joyfully,” Junior League of Portland

“Investing in What’s Important to You,” Camden Public Library

“Inviting People to Become Joyful Givers – When You Hate Asking People for Money,” Junior League of Washington

“Inviting People to Become Joyful Givers – When You Hate Asking People for Money,” Washington, DC, Alumnae Panhellenic Association

“Maximizing Your Philanthropic Power to Do Good,” Ellevate DC

“The Season of Giving,” Ellevate Boston