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.

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Is your newsletter great donor relationship-building, or an unwise self-indulgence?

by Tom Ahern & Sean Triner

Almost all nonprofits produce a newsletter and send it out with their warm appeals. But should they?

Read more

Ten tips to spur the creative grant proposal-writing process

by Pamela Grow

Pamela says: ‘Your final step should be a gracious letter to the foundation, thanking them for their time and their thorough review of your proposal. You’d be surprised at how few organisations take the time to thank the foundation.’

Read more

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.

Read more

In-memoriam donation thank-you letter samples

by Lisa Sargent

These letters are part of Lisa Sargent’s thank-you letter clinic: How to write lively memorial donation thank-you letters.

Read more

A debt to the master: the Ogilvy effect

by Ken Burnett

Part two of SOFII’s tribute to ‘the pope of advertising’, David Ogilvy.

Read more

The truth about storytelling: leaders not followers

men in suits

by Charlie Hulme

Charlie’s final article in his series on telling stories might surprise you and may even make you laugh out loud.

Read more

Grant writing in a character limited world


by Charlene Rocha

Has technology saved you time and trouble when writing an application for a grant? Or do you find online application forms limit how much you can say? Click here to find how you can get all your valuable information across in fewer words.

Read more

Creating a supportive workplace for fundraisers

by Norma Cameron

You’ve heard of the donor bill of rights; hopefully you have one pinned above your desk. Now, if you click here you’ll find a bill with a difference just for you: a bill of rights for fundraisers. If you’d like to add anything, please let us know.

Read more