Jerry Huntsinger tutorials

This special showcase within the direct mail section of SOFII comprises a complete series of tutorials from the dean of direct mail fundraising, the USA’s legendary Jerry Huntsinger. In 86 parts this insightful, practical series is building, over time, into the complete step-by-step guide to direct mail fundraising.

Tutorial 9: the reply envelope.

by Jerry Huntsinger

If you want to raise money – make sure you include a reply envelope. There are several decisions you need to make and each decision affects the type of package you’ll be creating.

Read more

Tutorial 8: making the reply device work.

by Jerry Huntsinger

When should you omit a reply device? Almost never! The two major exceptions are...

Read more

Tutorial 7: a funny thing happens on the way to the mailbox.

by Jerry Huntsinger

A letter owes part of its power to the way in which it is delivered. Perhaps your mail is delivered to your door. Do you ever rush to the door when you hear the mail hit the floor? Or perhaps you have to walk or travel a distance to collect your mail. Do you ever feel your pulse quicken in anticipation of collecting your mail?

Read more

Tutorial 6: the power of a letter.

by Jerry Huntsinger

To be successful in this business, you have to recognise the power of a letter. Why? Because there are now so many people in fundraising who understand computers, finance, business management, or work flow systems. All of these skills are basic to competent fundraising organisations. But what’s happened to the letter?

Read more

Tutorial 5: what’s all this talk about junk mail?

by Jerry Huntsinger

Mail opening in most households is a time of great anticipation. And since the advent of email and electronic communications, the arrival of snail mail has become a high point of the day. You most likely know someone who laments that they no longer receive letter mail.

Read more

Tutorial 4: motivation, magic and junk mail.

by Jerry Huntsinger

A few motivations often listed in textbook approaches to fundraising.

Read more

Tutorial 3: what makes a successful letter-writer?

by Jerry Huntsinger

A successful letter-writer must overcome human inertia by putting words on paper. A tough job. Good letter-writers are extremely rare, but here’s how you can spot one.

Read more

Tutorial 2: is direct mail fundraising a science or an art?

by Jerry Huntsinger

It is a little of both. If you are a writer assigned to create fundraising letters, then you have to deal with feelings, intuition, motivation. Direct mail is a personal form of communication. And communication occurs only when you reach out and touch a person at a deep level.

Read more

Tutorial 1: creating fundraising letters and packages

by Jerry Huntsinger

The purpose of these tutorials is to stimulate your thinking. Challenge your preconceived notions. Stimulate your appetite for testing a new idea.

Read more

Major contributors to this section

Jerry Huntsinger

Jerry Huntsinger is revered in direct marketing circles as the dean of direct mail. 

Some years back Jerry gifted his archive of direct mail tutorials to SOFII and we’ve been serialising them ever since. All 50-plus are gems. Together, they add up to complete ‘how-to’ guide to everything you need to know about direct mail fundraising.

These tutorials are edited and presented by Gwen Chapman.

Gwen Chapman is a passionate advocate for donor-centric fundraising. She is a senior consultant with international experience in the non-profit sector in Canada, the United States, the UK and South Africa.

See all

Gwen Chapman

The Jerry Huntsinger Tutorials are edited and presented by Gwen Chapman.

Gwen Chapman is a passionate advocate for donor-centric fundraising. She is a senior consultant with international experience in the non-profit sector in Canada, the United States, the UK and South Africa.

See all