How to Write Successful Fundraising Letters / Edition 2

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You'll learn all the essential components of writing for success from this go-to book for writing for fundraising! Mal Warwick, the nation's premier letter-writing tutor and direct mail expert, shows you the essential tools for making your direct marketing program a success. He gives you both general advice about the most effective direct mail strategies and specific guidance. Learn his step-by-step model through all the critical stages -from laying the groundwork for a prosperous campaign through the importance of thanking donors. Includes new chapters on E-mail solicitations, monthly and legacy giving and free downloads on

Refreshed and Revised:

  • Gain insight into current trends in the field with updated cases, samples, and examples
  • Access more content for small to medium NPOs with limited budgets and resources
  • Learn the latest technology with new sections on typography and lay out
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
According to this practical handbook, a "fundraising letter is like a personal visit." Writing from extensive experience in guiding companies and organizations through fund-raising efforts, Warwick offers detailed advice and analysis along with copious examples and instructive case studies. Warwick, who is both personal and hard-hitting, suggesting a cross between a preacher and a salesman, views fund-raising by mail as a three-stage process. "First, donors are acquired....Then, they are converted into repeat donors...finally donors may be upgraded into higher levels of generosity and commitment." The well-organized instructions include the planning of whole campaigns, the phrasing of appeals, composition and punctuation, information packets, and follow-up. In a time when fund-raising is perquisite to nearly all professions and organizations, library managers of all types as well as library users should find this both fascinating and worthwhile.-Margaret Bush, Simmons Coll., Boston
A guide to writing fund raising letters, covering donor motivations and perceptions, nuts and bolts techniques and rules, and writing for seven different fund raising purposes, including recruiting new members, acknowledging a gift, and seeking an annual gift. Includes a writer's toolbox of leads, teasers, and ways to begin and end a fund raising letter. This revised edition is reorganized and includes new examples. Warwick is a founder or cofounder of four companies that provide fund raising and marketing services to nonprofit clients. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787999087
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Series: Jossey-Bass Nonprofit Guidebook Series , #2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,108,262
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mal Warwick, consultant, author, and public speaker, is the founder of Mal Warwick Associates and three related companies that provide a wide range of fundraising and marketing services to nonprofitclients throughout North America. Warwick has written or edited 18 books including Revolution in the Mailbox, The Five Strategiesfor Fundraising Success, and Fundraising on the Internet. He teaches fundraising throughout the world and chairs the Global Resource Alliance, which promotes civil society worldwide. Find more information on Mal and his books at and

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition.

About the Author.

Introduction: Why You Should Read This Book.


1. Why People Respond to Fundraising Letters.

2. How a Fundraising Letter Is Like a Personal Visit.

3. What Donors Really Think About Fundraising Letters.

4. Characteristics of an Effective Fundraising Letter.

5. A Leisurely Tour Through One Successful Appeal.


6. What to Do Before You Write Any Fundraising Letter.

7. Eight Steps Toward Successful Fundraising Letters.

8. The Cardinal Rules of Fundraising Letters.

9. You’re Writing for Results-Not for a Pulitzer Prize.


10. Recruiting New Donors: Starting Intimate Conversations with Strangers.

11. Welcoming New Donors: Treating People Like Part of the Family.

12. Appealing for Special Gifts: Bringing Your Case Down to Earth.

13. Asking for Year-End Contributions: Making the Most of the Holiday Spirit.

14. Recruiting Monthly Sustainers: Offering Small Donors a Chance for Greater Impact.

15. Soliciting High-Dollar Gifts: Framing the Case for Major Contributions.

16. Going for Bigger Gifts: Persuading Donors to Make an Extra Commitment.

17. Seeking Annual Gifts: Building Long-Term Loyalty, One Year at a Time.

18. Thanking Your Donors: Friend-Raising Before Fundraising.

19. Promoting Legacy Gifts: Seeking the Ultimate Commitment.


20. Writing Online Appeals: Harnessing the Power of the Internet.


A. Sixty Successful Outer-Envelope Teasers.

B. Fifty-Four Strong Leads for Fundraising Letters.

C. Ninety Ways to Use the Word "You" in a Fundraising Letter.

D. Sixty-Three Ways to Handle Awkward Copywriting Transitions.

E. Forty-One Powerful Ways to End a Fundraising Letter.

F. Fifty-Eight Ways to Start a P.S. in a Fundraising Letter.

G. Fifteen Ways How Not to Get Results.

H. Books and Other Resources to Help You Write Successful Fundraising Letters.


How to Use the CD-ROM.

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