Gail Perry Associates
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
"Dr. Dickerson, as part of his doctoral studies at Claremont Graduate University, in California, recently analyzed more than 1.5 million words of online and printed fund-raising texts to determine how effectively fund raisers communicate with their audiences. While his findings were enough to fuel a 350-page dissertation, his thesis can be boiled down to a few short words: Most fund-raising copy stinks."
"Frank I'll be brief. Awesome, as my young Canadian associates say. Keep it up and if you get to London--well, if you don’t call me for a pub-crawl you’re not half the man you think you are! Here is to the preservation of wisdom."
Kymberly McElgunn Wolff, Sr. VP
"The Way We Write is All Wrong is a wake-up call based on solid evidence, and it couldn’t come at a better time."
Joan Smythe Dengler, Sr VP
Roger Craver, Founder
"Fantastic. Great job in dignifying what I have also practiced: ‘Write the way you talk.’ I still do it and still dictate all my letters."
Gail Perry, Principal
"Frank, wonderful stuff and we’d like our 7000+ readers of The Agitator to benefit from it."
Tom Ahern, Principal
"Thank you for sharing your research. This is very interesting work and of course extremely relevant for a large nonprofit organization like CARE. We know the importance of language in delivering our message to donors and the public, and it is both interesting and helpful to read your analysis of the current problems that plague written fundraising communications. We've also been testing similar variables that you mentioned in your study, such as simulated hand-written fonts and nonprofit stamps vs. first class rate to name a few. And, we continue to learn from our testing and tweaking of direct mail copy as well. Your research will be invaluable to us as we continue to try to 'crack the code' on what motivates individuals to take action through our direct response vehicles."
The Goodman Center
John McIlquham, CEO
Andy Goodman, Principal
Peter Panepento, Asst. Managing Editor
"This research agrees with what almost anybody who spends any time
looking at the way nonprofits communicate already knows: Most fund
raising copy is wooden, artificial, dull, and ineffective."
"OMG Frank! Your work is brilliant! This research is profound and needs to be shared widely.
Kivi Leroux Miller, Principal
Michael Margolis, President
John Sauvé-Rodd, Principal
The NonProfit Times
Network for Good
Craver, Matthews, Smith
"Frank, I tend to throw away many fund-raising letters and I never thought about analyzing the content and determining what works. I am pre-conditioned to favoring certain charities and causes and pay little attention to other solicitations. But your language analysis and findings are critical to practitioners."
Ahern Commmunications Ink
Philip Kotler, PhD, Professor of Marketing
Research Affiliate, MIT
"I am interested in referencing your findings in The Nonprofit Marketing Guide. Thanks so much for your contribution to the field!"
Formerly with CARE, Now with Habitat for Humanity
Katya Andresen, C.O.O.
"I was pretty impressed. We need more research into the ‘soft side’ of fund raising. Story telling is where it’s at!"
"Wow, we are true soul mates when it comes to fund raising. Terrific. This stuff is great. I can’t wait to highlight it in my work."
Huntsinger & Jeffer
"Frank, this is amazing work, just the kind of thing we should be doing more of."
Jerry Huntsinger, Founder
Grant McCraken, PhD
Future Fundraising Now & TrueSense Marketing
"Frank, a very impressive study. Having been in direct mail for more than 30 years, your research is a window to the craft of words and how important copy is to successful direct marketing. In fact, given that twitter only allows 140 characters, I think the ability to write clearly and concisely is even made more important through social media."
"Imagine my pleasure realizing you’re the author of the piece I read a few days ago that I hoped to commend in my e-newsletter. One of my chums in the nonprofit world said: ‘Look, we’re NOT all nuts; and here’s the research to prove it!’ Thank you. You've done everyone a big favor. Lousy written communications are costing the industry gazillions in lost revenue."
"I completely agree with your take on the way we write. So much communication sent by great organizations is poorly crafted. And that
makes it difficult to get people to listen to very important messages."