Good With Words

Writing Under Fire

When Passion’s Not Enough I met with a woman recently who gives a fair bit of money away, some of it to charities I know well. We talked about a talented young fundraiser we both like. I began praising him, congratulating myself on doing him an invisible favour. Suddenly her expression changed from warm to […] Continue Reading

Getting Creative

First a personal word. I wrote my first post two years ago. I promised myself I’d write 24, then stop. This post is the 23rd. It’s on a subject dear to my heart: the five creative writing techniques everyone can use at work. The next and final post (in early September) will be on something […] Continue Reading

Words to live by

This post isn’t about writing. It’s about the world we all live in. The Commission on the Donor Experience has pulled together wise and practical tips and insights from across the charity sector. Ken Burnett and the good team at SOFII have sent out this wonderful Blueprint for fundraising — it’s a summary of the principles enshrined […] Continue Reading

Day of Judgement

Like it or not, if you raise money for charity you’re going to be judged. People throw your beautiful letters away. You didn’t raise enough. Your manager’s taken a red pen to your copy. Your best mate’s uncle doesn’t understand why you’re even paid. I mean, it’s a charity, right? At the moment, we’re being […] Continue Reading

Speak for yourself

Do well enough in your job, and sooner or later you’ll have to give a formal presentation or speech. No good deed goes unpunished. A quick scout around the internet will unearth loads of practical tips for dealing with the stage fright that plagues us all, whether we’re podium clutchers who read every word off […] Continue Reading

What to read?

December galloped in this year from who knows where. Maybe you, like me, felt less than ready for it. I blame the sensation on political events, especially in the US. So much feels out of kilter and unpredictable, and I wish I could turn the clock back or at least slow time down a bit. […] Continue Reading

Fighting Words

Language is a loaded gun. If you want to start a word duel (and you can’t bear one more conversation about Brexit or Trump), ask people what they dislike most in other people’s writing. I asked some charity managers and consultants just that. In case you’re wondering: corporate buzz words like “strategy” (instead of “plan”) […] Continue Reading

What did you say?

I knew I wanted to write about dialogue this month, so I picked a non fiction book off my shelf, pretty much at random. It’s Scattered Sand, a book about China’s rural migrants by the courageous journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai. Here’s an extract: When I began to talk to one of them, others surrounded me and […] Continue Reading