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Three Books on Writing Every Fundraiser Should Read

Vanessa Chase - The Storytelling Non-Profit
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September 8, 2016

As someone who identifies as a writer, it’s always fun to get a peek behind the curtain to see how other writers do it. It’s a constant source of inspiration for me both in my professional and personal writing. I thought I would share my 3 favorite books on writing that I personally believe should be required reading for every fundraiser.

A Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications by Jeff Brooks

I have recommended this book more times that I can possibly count. It’s really that good! I enjoy Jeff’s writing style, but one of the things that I love the most about this book is how he breaks down copywriting into easy to implement tips. Following any one piece of Jeff’s advice will improve your writing.

If writing a is a big portion of your job, get yourself a copy of the book. Use it as you plan and edit your work, especially direct mail. Let this book be a reminder that writing – especially good fundraising writing – can be learned and need not be complicated.

You might also want to check out Jeff’s latest book, How to Turn Words Into Money.

Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott is hands down one of my favorite writers. I admire her style and the way she beautifully strings together sentences and life lessons. Anytime I’m feeling down and out about my writing, I will open my copy of Bird By Bird and just start reading. It always provides me with a renewed faith in the magic of writing. One of my favorite tidbits from the book is, “Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises.” (pg xxvi). It’s true, writing is my greatest teacher. Whether I am writing for a non-profit, for my blog, or in my journal, I find that I am bound to discover something new about myself or the world through words.

As a fundraiser, one of the biggest lessons that I took away from this book was to develop my own writing practice. This has helped me immeasurably not only to enjoy writing but to get better at it.

If you’re interested in reading other books by Anne Lamott, my next favorite is Small Victories.

On Writing by Stephen King

I have never been a fan of Stephen King’s fiction writing, but I constantly see this book on lists such as the 100 greatest books of all time. Plus, lots of people have personally recommended it to me. So a few weeks ago when I was browsing the bookstore I decided to pick up a copy of On Writing. Then I proceeded to finish it in less than 3 days.

This book surpassed all expectations I had of it. It is part memoir, part advice to writers, and 100% enjoyable. I would add that if you are a fan of Stephen’s books, you’ll probably enjoy his anecdotes about how some of his most famous stories come together. Soak in the goodness of Stephen’s storytelling style and let it inspire your next story.

See the original at The Storytelling Non-Profit

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