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 11: how to design a fundraising letter: the function of design.

by Jerry Huntsinger

Letters are not supposed to be pretty or attractive, or large or small, or long or short, or colourful or stylish... they are supposed to be read. That’s all.

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Tutorial 12: principles of layout.

by Jerry Huntsinger

There are four critical principles: space importance, eye movement, right dominance, and horizontal and vertical lines.

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Tutorial 13: the PS: how to have the final word.

by Jerry Huntsinger

Your PS is a vital selling tool – just as important as the headline. In fact, the PS is often the first and last words your donors read! Why? Human nature, I guess. A postscript arouses curiosity. It’s irresistible.

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Tutorial 14: how to communicate with photographs.

by Jerry Huntsinger

If ‘a picture is worth a thousands words’ why do nonprofits persist in creating appeals with 2,000 words, or more, with no pictures?

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Tutorial 15: creating a chemical reaction.

by Jerry Huntsinger

When you put a letter, a reply card, a reply envelope and an enclosure in a carrier envelope, you are mixing together five separate elements. But suddenly, when they are all in the package, you no longer have five separate items. Instead you have a chemical reaction.

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

by Ian MacQuillin

How do you know what is and isn’t ethical in fundraising? Ian MacQuillin of the Rogare think tank explores this complex issue in this first of two fascinating and timely articles.

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Tutorial 16: how to write in a warm personal style.

by Jerry Huntsinger

A professional writer knows that a letter must have more than technical exactness. Personality has to radiate through the words. But what kind of personality?

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Tutorial 17: write the way you speak: 10 suggestions.

by Jerry Huntsinger

Psycho-copy is not crazy copy. I’m not always sure how to communicate the deeper levels of a ‘warm and personal’ style to letter writers. Perhaps it has to be caught, rather than taught.

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Tutorial 18: magic words: the formula for success.

by Jerry Huntsinger

What do Shakespeare, the Bible, the Gettysburg Address and a successful fundraising letter have in common? Magic words. And what makes certain words magic? Their length. Any common word of five letters or less is magic. Therein lies a formula for success.

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Tutorial 19: master grammar and write for action.

by Jerry Huntsinger

As a writer, you need to understand the basic parts of speech – verbs, nouns, objects, adjectives, adverbs, articles, and so on. But you don’t have to worry about the structure of a sentence. Just remember that every sentence usually has a subject, a verb and an object. ‘The house is red’: article, subject, verb, object.

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