Confessions of a Fundraising Copywriter
I was sitting in my office, working on my third cup of coffee, absorbed in "Blink," the latest book I was reading. I'm a writer for hire. It's a living. It pays for my books. If I stick to paperbacks.
I was reading a paragraph about the Vienna Philharmonic when the phone rang. I picked it up and in my deepest voice and best Italian accent said, "Rick Grant, writer-for-hire's office."
At the other end a woman's voice I didn't recognize said, "Mr. Grant, please."
Still in character I said, "Un attimo, per favore," and then in my normal voice, "Hello?"
The voice on the phone said, "Mr. Grant, do you really expect to fool anyone with that type of nonsense?"
I said, "Want to hear my Michael Douglas?"
"Perhaps some other time. My name is Christine King. Denise Doherty gave me your name. I assume you recall her."
"Often," I said.
"She speaks very highly of you. When I told her my problem, she suggested I call you. Can you take my case?"
"Let me check my schedule," I said. She laughed briefly. "Your attempt at humor is much too involved for you to be busy."
"Busted. I'm reading a book about the power of thinking without thinking," I said.
"You shouldn't leave come-back openings like that. It's a good thing we just met. But isn't thinking about not thinking actually thinking about it?"
"My head is starting to hurt. What can I do for you?" I said.
"I'm the development director for a nonprofit organization here in town. Do you have much Web experience?"
"Al Gore and I are likethis," I said.
"Great. I'd like you to conduct a website audit. I'm getting very few online gifts, and I'm hoping you can tell me why. How much do you charge?"