Writing for Impact

Fundraising, Training

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The cluster will take you through a selection of proven writing techniques. We will start with the use of empathy in persuasive writing and a powerful logical sequence for presenting your case. We will also share some time-honoured techniques for mastering brevity, becoming a trustworthy narrator and making sure that your writing is memorable.

In the final learning pod we will impart some creative techniques for using infographics to enhance your words and visually transform your proposal.

This learning cluster will impart relevant skills for all fundraisers who have to develop appeals to any donor, from a Foundation, to a company to individuals.

Presenters: Bill Bruty and Rob Parton

What you will learn

Pod 2.1: Logical Empathy

When they don’t have an application form and they don’t tell you what to say, how do you construct a proposal from a blank sheet?

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding of the role of empathy in persuasive writing.

  • How to use the ‘Disney Method’ to construct a powerful story.


We will take you through a six-stage process which will reveal a logical structure for persuasive storytelling. We will start with identifying the problem in factual and emotional terms, move onto the fears and the hopes and then developing a solution and proposition for the donor.

You’ll be able to practice crafting a story for your own organization using this technique.

Live Online Workshop Times and Dates:

11.00-12.30 11th October 2022


Pod 2.2: Mastering Brevity

In the words of Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher: ‘Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.’ (‘I have made this longer than usual because I have not had time to make it shorter.’) “Lettres Provinciales”, 1657

Squeezing all your points into a tiny word count is an essential skill.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Ability to reduce word counts by converting from passive to active voice.

  • Ability to reduce word counts by using techniques to cut out unnecessary words.


We’ll explain the difference between active and passive statements and equip you to convert lengthy passive statements in direct and shorter active ones. We’ll also draw upon the wisdom of George Orwell to help you write with greater clarity, less jargon and less words. We’ll use case studies to learn and then help you to apply these techniques within your own writing.

Live online Workshop Times and Dates:

11.00-12.30 13th October 2022


Pod 2.3: Memorable and Trustworthy Writing

Good writing needs to be accurate and picturesque.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Ability to identify the key point you want to emphasize and use a ‘dissonant’ technique to ensure that it is memorable.

  • Ability to insert appropriate detail into proposals, in order to convince readers of the accuracy of your writing.


The grantmaking process usually involves someone condensing your extensive proposal into a short summary for a committee. You need to equip your reader to write on your behalf. So, you need to make sure that your most important point is retained.

We’ll explore the world of abstract art to show how dissonance (rule breaking) is a powerful tool for recall. You also need to be a trustworthy narrator, and we’ll share the techniques within Homer’s Odyssey to equip you to present your information with accuracy.

Live Online Workshop Times and Dates:

11.00-12.30 18th October 2022


Pod 2.4: Creative Infographics

Words can only take you so far. Images and diagrams can be the key to unlocking understanding and being memorable. Increasingly donors are looking for an infographic to grasp your complexities.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding of the role of infographics in proposals.

  • Ability to use at least three techniques to develop infographics within your proposals.


We’ll look at techniques for converting words into images. We’ll also share how to place them in a logical map. We’ll look at how a limited range of images can stimulate the right meaning, but combining these in different sequences. We’ll also look at wider creative processes for selecting the right images, in the right order. You’ll have to prepare both sides of your brain to take part in this workshop.

Live Online Workshop Times and Dates:

11.00-12.30 20th October 2022

What you require

A curious mind.