The Fundraiser’s Toolbox

You know that fundraising is hard work. To be successful you need to be well equipped to take on all its challenges. At SOFII, we thought you might like some help. So we’ve put together this fundraiser’s toolbox that we’ll be filling with essential examples, formats, articles, case studies, ideas and tips that we think every fundraiser should know about.

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.

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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.

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Tutorial 4: motivation, magic and junk mail.

by Jerry Huntsinger

A few motivations often listed in textbook approaches to fundraising.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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Tutorial 8: making the reply device work.

by Jerry Huntsinger

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

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Fundraising ethics – raise more money while keeping your donors happy. What could be simpler? Part two.

by Ian MacQuillin

In the second part of his blog on fundraising ethics, Rogare’s Ian MacQuillin looks at a couple of ethical dilemmas. The solutions are anything but black and white.

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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.

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Tutorial 10: Pavlov’s dog and fundraising letters.

by Jerry Huntsinger

It was an experiment that the Humane Society might object to these days. A group of psychologists, including Nobel prize-winner Ivan Pavlov, took a dog and put him in a cage, rang a bell and gave him something to eat. Then they fooled the poor animal by ringing the bell, but not giving him anything to eat. So what did he do?

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