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.

Five corporate fundraising mistakes to avoid

Man at sea

by Jonathan Andrews

It’s inevitable that at some time we will make a mistake. Yet some are so basic that they can be easily avoided. Jonathan Andrews warns of five mistakes you really should avoid when you’re going for that all-important corporate partnership.

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Get positive: you know you want to

glasses half full and half empty

by Frances Hurst

In her instructive and practical article, Frances Hurst, shares her lessons in how to create a positive attitude and how to find more reasons to make you happy.

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In lieu of flowers: how to write lively memorial donation thank-you letters

by Lisa Sargent

Are your in-memoriam donation thank-you letters destined for donor oblivion?

This copywriting clinic looks to help you rescue them from a fate worse than, well… death.

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How to write a better newsletter

Newsletter icon

by John Grain

In this article, John Grain tells us in simple terms what a good newsletter should be. If you want some solid, practical advice about writing a better newsletter, you need to read this.

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Other people: together not separate

A donation box with a few prominent notes

by Charlie Hulme

In his latest article on storytelling, Charlie Hulme, says, ‘If you want people to donate, make sure they know that others are. Don’t ask them to join at the starting line, show them the finish line – show them the money.’

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Why the dumbest things your smartphone does are the smart things to do

ActionAid train SMS ad

by Fiona Pattison

Those bright folks at Open Fundraising share with you a cornucopia of their secrets and lessons learned at the cutting edge of donor acquisition. Instead of ‘rushing headlong over the bleeding edge of technology’, study here what you should be doing if you want to recruit new donors in number at such highly agreeable costs it’ll force even your finance director to crack a smile.

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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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Hope not hopeless

by Charlie Hulme

Back in 2010, the plight of 33 miners in Chile was an international sensation. We were all gripped by the suspense: would the rescue attempt succeed, would they survive…? It wiped from our newspapers and television screens the devastating floods in Pakistan, described by the UN as the greatest humanitarian crisisin recent history. How could this happen? Charlie Hulme explains in his second article on storytelling.

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Want to get inside your donor's brain? Try storytelling


by Charlie Hulme

Emotional storytelling keeps popping up on SOFII and rightly so given its importance to fundraisers everywhere. Here we have the introduction and the first article in a series SOFII will be publishing in coming weeks on the art of storytelling, from Charlie Hulme of telemarketing agency Pell & Bales. If you care about catching your donor’s interest and imagination, read on here.

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People not numbers: emotion not reason

broken heart

by Charlie Hulme

This is the first article on SOFII's new storytelling series.

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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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