How reading for fun makes you a better fundraiser

Drayton Bird posted something cool: Who To Read If You Want To Write Better Advertising. Here’s his list:

  1. Jane Austen
  2. Evelyn Waugh
  3. P G Wodehouse
  4. F Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Elmore Leonard

What? Five fiction writers will help you write better ads?

It’s true. He suggests these writers because they have good writing style. Graceful, strong, euphonious, clear style.

You probably don’t want to write a fundraising letter than sounds like Jane Austen. But if you read Austen and her style sinks into your bones — you’ll write better fundraising.

Let me suggest another author to read:

Richard Brautigan. His best-known (and best) book is Trout Fishing in America, and you should read it. It’s a strange book, in some ways an artifact of its time (published 1967). But the writing is amazing: It seems utterly simple, almost dashed off. But if you pay close attention, you can see how tightly crafted it is. No needless words. Almost musical rhythm. It’s so natural, you almost forget the surreality of the story.

If you write like Richard Brautigan, you’re a good fundraising writer.


Comments

2 responses to “How reading for fun makes you a better fundraiser”

  1. tarheelntx Avatar
    tarheelntx

    Have you read Steven Pinker’s A Sense of Style? I am not a creative writer and his work is really challenging me to work on writing well. I highly recommend the book.

  2. tarheelntx Avatar
    tarheelntx

    Have you read Steven Pinker’s A Sense of Style? I am not a creative writer and his work is really challenging me to work on writing well. I highly recommend the book.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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