Communications toolbox

How can you raise money for your organisation if no-one knows about the good work you do or the need for funds? In the SOFII communications toolbox you will find some great tools and advice to help you tell stories to your donors that will motivate them to give.

The Effectiveness Project: fundraisers – take notice soon!

by Steven Shattuck

The latest infographic from Bloomerang has some alarming data from the Urban Institute in the USA. Isn’t it time that charities took some notice?

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Do you seriously want to be serious?

by George Smith

In this latest jewel from George Smith’s collection of articles in Up Smith Creek, he is not impressed by the way we conduct our agency pitches and staff interviews. He says, ‘The replacement of human conversation by earnest verbal ceremony can make for mediocre choice’ and might mean we miss the candidate who is ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ and with the vigor to really make our fundraising great.

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Five steps to creating corporate partnerships

Innocent drinks

by Jonathan Andrews

Have you seen the little woolly hats on top of Innocent smoothies and thought that’s brilliant? Or perhaps you’ve bought a packet of Pampers that includes a donation to UNICEF?

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How I wrote it: Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s multimedia, email and video

by Jonathon Grapsas

So far in the ‘how I wrote it’ series, we have focused on the traditional form of campaigning. In other words, packages only using the written word. Here we look at a communication package that uses multimedia, email and video.

Here Jonathon Grapsas talks to Fergal about his work for the charity Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Jonathon is based in Australia where he works for a number of local charities.

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Brilliant donor care: 15 steps to make sure your organisation gets it right

by Jonathon Grapsas

Before I launch into some tangible ways to improve the way you deal with donors, let me preface this by looking at the current climate. Just how are charities in different parts of the world interacting with donors on a daily basis?

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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 Salvation Army UK’s first large-scale cold mailing

by Pauline Lockier

In this, the fifth of a series of interviews with leading fundraising writers, Pauline Lockier talks to Fergal Byrne about a fundraising appeal letter written for the Salvation Army in 1990 which subsequently became their control for eight years. In this conversation Pauline tells Fergal how she wrote the letter and what really matters in making sure this kind of letter is a success.

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In search of baubles

by George Smith

Now, as part of SOFII’s continued commitment to fine writing we further celebrate the brilliance, wit and wisdom of George Smith with a series of articles taken from his last book, Up Smith Creek. We start with a seasonal article that first appeared in Professional Fundraising magazine in February, 1997 – and it’s just as relevant today.

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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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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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Major contributors to this section

George Smith

A legendary marketing/fundraising guru and curmudgeon.

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Fergal Byrne

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.

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Charlie Hulme

Charlie Hulme is managing director of DonorVoice. He helps charities uncover what, of all the things they do, improves the strength of relationships  and what is harmful. Partners see a massive improvement in performance, value and retention.

Voted top speaker at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Convention in 2013, he writes frequently for SOFII, 101fundraising, the Institute of Fundraising and many others.

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