Fergal Byrne

Changing the world is the only fit work for a grown man

by Fergal Byrne

Changing the world is the only fit work for a grown man: the story of Howard Luck Gossage, an adman who hated the ‘mad men’ and the hard sell campaigns they produced.

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How I wrote it: Alan Sharpe’s War Child fundraising letter.

by Fergal Byrne & Alan Sharpe

In this, the sixth of a series of interviews with leading fundraising writers, Alan Sharpe talks with Fergal Byrne about a fundraising letter written for Canadian charity War Child in 2011. During this conversation, Alan reveals the thinking that went into his letter and what really matters in making a letter a success.

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How I wrote it: Jules Brown talks about the Women’s Aid fundraising letter

by Fergal Byrne & Jules Brown

In Fergal Byrne’s seventh interview with leading fundraising copywriters, Jules Brown from New Zealand explains why he begins with a case study. ‘I immerse myself in the case study. For me, it forms the guts of what fundraising direct mail is all about.’ Click here to see the powerful case history he used in the featured letter that he wrote for Women’s Aid in Ireland.

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How I wrote it: Mal Warwick on his letter for the Union of Concerned Scientists

by Fergal Byrne & Mal Warwick

A new interview from Fergal Byrne gives a fascinating insight into a master fundraiser at work: Mal Warwick. In it he describes how he wrote the letter that, in one form or another, was used to recruit new supporters for the Union of Concerned Scientists in the USA over many years.

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How I wrote it: the ActionAid iguana letter

by Fergal Byrne & Aline Reed

In the third of SOFII’s series of interviews with leading fundraising writers, Aline Reed, creative director at Bluefrog in London, talks to Fergal Byrne about a fundraising appeal letter that she wrote in 2005 for ActionAid, as part of their long-running mid-value donor programme. Here, Aline explains her approach to writing stories that move donors to action and takes us step by step through the letter.

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How I wrote it: the Amnesty pen letter

by Fergal Byrne & Karin Weatherup

In this, the ninth in a series of interviews with leading fundraising writers, Karin Weatherup talks to Fergal Byrne about the legendary Amnesty pen letter she wrote for Amnesty International – the pack was Amnesty UK’s banker for 10 years or more and was copied or adapted by many Amnesty International sections around the world.

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How I wrote it: the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s prospect letter

Envelope, front.

by Fergal Byrne

In the second of a series of interviews with leading fundraising writers, Harvey McKinnon talks with Fergal Byrne about a fundraising letter he wrote for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Canada, in 2002. In this conversation Harvey tells how he wrote this letter and expands on his approach, paying special attention to the art and craft of writing and telling fundraising stories.

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How I wrote it: the Sharp HospiceCare conversion letter

by Fergal Byrne & Tom Ahern

In the first of this SOFII series of interviews with leading fundraising writers, Fergal Byrne talks to Tom Ahern about a letter he wrote in 2002 for Sharp HospiceCare. Here Tom tells Fergal how he wrote this letter, explains his approach and takes us through the letter step by step.

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How I wrote it: the Starlight Children’s Foundation emergency appeal

by Fergal Byrne & Sean Triner

In this, the fourth of a series of interviews with leading fundraising writers, Sean Triner talks with Fergal Byrne about a fundraising appeal letter he wrote on spec for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Australia, in 2009. In this conversation Sean tells Fergal how he wrote the letter and what really matters in making sure this kind of letter is a success.

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How I wrote it: why I owe my career to a sea turtle

This was the newspaper advert used during the appeal.

by Fergal Byrne

The direct marketing agency, Lautman & Company had hired Richard Armstong to write what he anticipated to be a routine fundraising package for the Center for Environmental Education. It seems there was a problem developing on the beaches of Florida; bright lights from beachfront properties were distracting hatchling sea turtles on their way to the ocean, reducing their chances of survival. In response, the Center for Environmental Education created the Sea Turtle Rescue Fund.

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About the author

Fergal Byrne is a seasoned freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The Financial Times, The Guardian and The EveningStandard. He’s been writing about finance and business for more than 20 years, but his main area of interest is now non-profits and charities. Contact Fergal here.