Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bad fundraising appeals? Send me the worst you've seen.

A really bad fundraising letter is a waste of paper, printing and postage. Worse than that, it may permanently turn you off to the sender and its cause. 

Fundraising can fail in many ways. A piece can be blatantly cringeworthy, or merely boring. Sometimes the organization is so embarrassed about asking for money that they forget to actually ask at all.

For a new course I will teach next fall, I am collecting examples of ineffective fundraising appeals. Can you add to my teaching collection? I need examples in all media, including letters, emails, tweets, Kickstarters, and TV spots. These might be appeals that you've received, or even ones that you or your organization have sent out. (Confidentiality guaranteed!)

Tell me about the worst fundraising appeals you know. Please send me a copy by email to or mail to David Weinstock, 240 Woodland Park, Middlebury, VT 05753 USA. If you didn't keep a copy of the awful appeal -- and why should you have? --  then just tell me the story as you remember it. For all who contribute examples and information, I'll share copies of my entire collection, and the teaching materials I create.

Thank you!

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Useful Writer

Writing well is a talent; thousands of people have it. Writing persuasively is more than a talent; it's a superpower, and a rare one at that. But what use is having a superpower if you aren't faintly interested in doing what superheros do, fighting crime? How can a writer make himself useful?

I've tried many ways. I've written for corporations, agencies, nonprofits, newspapers, blogs, and literary journals, and I've taught writing in a variety of settings. Sometimes I get paid, sometimes I don't. It's the only thing I can do half right, and I'd like to do more of it.

I have started a new venture, a new way to make myself useful. I call it Writing Uncorked. On this site, I'll be writing about what it means and how it goes.  Stay tuned.

But in the meantime, you need some writing done, and for whatever reason, you can't do it yourself. It's urgent, and I can probably help. I'm in Vermont. For a free consultation, which will include my professional recommendation on how we can best get your job done, and a free quote, call me now at 802-989-4314. Or email