Top tips & how tos

The focus in this section is on practical ‘how to’ lists. Here the world's leading fundraisers share the distilled wisdom of their experience in digestible bite-sized nuggets that you can use immediately.

NSPCC – a new approach to legacy training

by Adrian Salmon

Innovative angles on the fundraiser’s ‘pot of gold’, byJacqueline Gunn, NSPCC legacy marketing fundraiser and Victoria Stephenson, NSPCC development manager.

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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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Eight lessons for online fundraising

Wikimedia logo

by Corinne Bekker

Fundraising consultant, Corinne Bekker tackles the ongoing debate about online fundraising. Using the example of Wikimedia’s recent success – success to the tune of $16 million – she argues that clearly online fundraising can work, if you know how to get it right.

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How I use SOFII: I turn to the better thank-you checklist that helps us value our donors

by Virginia Anderson

Virginia Anderson is an experienced, effective major donor fundraiser in Scotland. So why does she keep SOFII’s 17-point better thank-you letter checklist pinned close to her desk? Find out here.

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How I use SOFII: to take advantage of coming second

by Margaux Smith

Find out how enthusiastic new fundraising magpie Margaux Smith uses SOFII to learn from those who’ve been treading the fundraising boards for many a year.

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How I use SOFII: Ryna Sherazi, Nepal’s lone fundraiser

by Ryna Sherazi

One of the reasons we started SOFII was to help fundraisers working in countries without a tradition of raising money for charities. Here, Ryna Sherazi, tells us how the way she uses SOFII has changed since she moved from the UK to Nepal.

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‘The Last Word’: how copywriters can change the world

by Indra Sinha

A brilliant addition to the showcase of fine writing from acclaimed copywriter and author Indra Sinha.

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15 things I would do if I were the new head of donor development, part 2

by Ken Burnett

These 15 strategies aren’t the only things I’d do. They may not even be the most urgent things I’d do, or even the most important. But they are the things I’d do that I think would have the most lasting impact, that would make the most difference to converting my imaginary donor development department from the under-funded, misunderstood appendage to the fundraising function that I found on joining the organization, into the finely honed, high-earning core activity that I’d like to leave behind me when, in the fullness of time, I move on to pastures new (you have to indulge me a little here, in this fantasy).

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Sample thank-you letters for you to swipe

by Lisa Sargent

Next to your fundraising appeals, your thank-you letter is the most important communication that a donor receives. So shouldn’t it sparkle with sincerity?

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Why your charity (still) needs better thank-you letters

Click to read letter 1.

by Lisa Sargent

So you’ve heard that, thanks to Lee Saunders, SOFII will champion the renaissance of the charity thank-you letter. Renaissance, you say? A lofty word, that, for the humble thank-you letter. 

But if you aim to raise money for good causes, the thank-you letter is still among your mightiest tools.

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