The storyteller’s tool box Common tools on topGrammar Vocabulary Form Style Magic From Stephen King On writing
The fundraising copywriter’s tool box VocabularyGrammar Persuasion Fundraising Technique knowledge Magic* *And/or hard work/coffee
Tool 1: Vocabulary• You don’t need to know long words• You don’t need a wide vocabulary• You do need to put them together to sound right
VocabularyThe most important words in marketing – apparently.
VocabularyThe most important word in fundraising – you
Vocabulary: George SmithSaxon rather than Latin words have more forceLatin Saxon Information News, facts Indicate Show Immediately Now, rightaway Construct Build, make Discover FindTry swearing with Latin-based oaths.
Tools 2: Grammar• You do need to know the basics• You can break the rules
Grammar• You can start a sentence with ‘And’• A sentence doesn’t always need a verb• A sentence can be one word long or 20• A paragraph can be one word long or 7-8 lines• Sentence length and construction needs to vary
Sharpening common tools Time % Reading Writing TalkingNot entirely scientific as no time for eating and sleeping
Tool 3: Persuasion• You need to build a persuasive argument• Make it easy. Make it right• Meet the donor’s needs
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs Self-actualization – personal growth and fulfilment Ego/Esteem – achievement, status, reputation etc Social – belongingness, love, family, relationships, etc Safety – protection, security, order, stability, etc Physical – food, shelter, warmth, sleep, sex, etc
Needs are more potent than valuesMore Emotional More Rational Change my mood Change my world Amuse me Help me to grow Combat To help Helplessness • Novelty • Status • Relaxing • Safer world • Entertaining • Education • Empowering • Better world • Good ideas • Under- standing Source: Donor Need States. Bluefrog / Tangent, 2007
Help me to grow • Elevate status • Not macro marketing • Emphasis on special treatment • Respect and honesty • Wanted information More Emotional More Rational Change my mood Change my world Amuse me Help me to grow Combat To help Helplessness • Novelty • Status • Relaxing • Safer world • Entertaining • Education • Empowering • Better world • Good ideas • Under- standing
Help me to grow“The best stuff is a couple of sheets with a letter from the professor…not a generic letter just from someone in the company.” Source: The Fundraiser’s guide to mid value donors. Bluefrog 2007
Help me to grow “You know when it’s a computer saying thank you and when it’s a person. And, quite frankly, I prefer if it’s a person.” (Female, 62) Source: After the love has gone. Bluefrog 2008
George Orwell• What am I trying to say?• What words will express it?• What image or idiom will make it clearer?• Is the image fresh enough to make the effect?• Could I put it more shortly?• Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?
George Smith• Use ‘I’ and ‘you’• Get to the point• Make it sound like someone is talking• Relate the story to the donor• Say what you mean with real words
Robert Louis StevensonThe difficulty of literature is not to write,but to write what you mean;not to affect your reader,but to affect him precisely as you wish.